Madrid - Manchester City have moved to bolster their defence
by signing Argentina centre back Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia on a five-year
Otamendi, 27, a fierce tackler who is also strong in the
air, will link up at City with fellow internationals Sergio Aguero, Martin
Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta, as well as former Porto team mates Fernando and
His arrival lifts the number of Argentines at the Abu
Dhabi-owned English Premier League club, who are coached by Chilean Manuel
Pellegrini, to six including Willy Caballero and Bruno Zuculini.
Valencia also confirmed the deal on their website (www.valenciacf.com).
Neither club disclosed financial terms, though Spanish media reported the fee
was around 45 million euros ($50.14 million).
Also read: Otamendi's likely City move not a distraction - Valencia
"Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La
Liga last season and so naturally I'm delighted to have added a player of his
quality," Pellegrini said.
"He is an established international for one of the best
nations in world football and I have no doubt that he has the right mentality
to fit into a squad where he will find many familiar faces," added the former
Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga coach.
"As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to
be a success in the Premier League -- he's strong, he's excellent in the tackle
and he's very good technically.
"I am sure he will become another Argentine player our
fans will enjoy watching."
Otamendi joined Porto from Velez Sarsfield in 2010 and won
the domestic league three times in his four years in Portugal, as well as the
Europa League and the Portuguese Cup.
Then-coach Diego Maradona called him into the Argentina
squad for the first time in qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup and he made his
debut aged 19 against Panama.
He has made 25 appearances overall for Argentina and played
at the 2010 World Cup but missed out on the finals in Brazil last year.
At this year's Copa America in Chile, he helped Argentina
finish as runners-up, playing alongside Demichelis in the semi-final and final.
"I am here to give my best, to fight game by game and
push City to the highest peaks for as long as possible, and I wish we will be
able to win several cups and titles," Otamendi said.
"That's the most important. To be here inside a club
that looks so wonderful from the outside is a dream."For
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