Man United & Man City in £38m transfer tussle

Valencia have told any interested parties that star defender Nicolas Otamendi will only be leaving the Mestalla this month if his £38m release clause is triggered, according to reports from The Express.

The Argentina international signed for the newly-rich Spaniards over the summer from Porto, and has already been attracting attention from both Manchester United and Manchester City.

A bid of £27m from the former is understood to have been rejected over the weekend, which has dented Louis van Gaal’s plans to bolster his shaky backline.

Mats Hummels’ rising valuation has caused the Dutchman to turn to Otamendi, who spent some of last season on loan in Brazil with Atletico Mineiro.

As well as United, bitter rivals City are also in the running.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini is yet to be convinced by summer buy Eliaquim Mangala – who played alongside Otamendi at Porto – and is keen to draft in a long-term partner for captain Vincent Kompany.

However, Valencia and their manager Nuno are desperate to keep the 26-year-old, with only offers of £38m – which will remove their choice from the equation – enough to land him this month.