Man City transfers: Nicolas Otamendi is La Liga's finest, boasts Manuel Pellegrini

 
Frank Dalleres
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He already has arguably the Premier League’s best striker in Sergio Aguero, and now Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes he has signed the leading defender in Spain in his Argentina colleague Nicolas Otamendi.

Centre-back Otamendi, who also attracted attention from City’s neighbours Manchester United, yesterday completed a £32m transfer from Valencia to the Etihad Stadium where he joins compatriots Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis.

The 27-year-old, who has 25 international caps and helped his side reach the Copa America final this year, is set to compete with his former Porto team-mate Eliaquim Mangala for a place alongside captain Vincent Kompany at the heart of Pellegrini’s defence.

“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,” said the Chilean Blues boss.

“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, including Eliaquim and Fernando who he played alongside in Portugal.

“As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to be a success in the Premier League: he is strong, he’s excellent in the tackle and he is very good technically. I am sure he will become another Argentine player our fans will enjoy watching.”

Pellegrini's next signing could be Wolfsburg attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, though progress on a deal with the German club – which could take City’s summer spending to around £140m – has been painstaking.

City have already committed £49m on England winger Raheem Sterling, £8m on midfielder Fabian Delph and £10m on youngster Patrick Roberts.

Otamendi spent just one season at Valencia, who he helped finish fourth, having enjoyed three title-winning campaigns at Porto, who he joined in 2010 from Velez Sarsfield in his homeland.

“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,” he said. “That’s most important. To be here inside a club that looks so wonderful from the outside is a dream.”

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