Monday 26 September 2016

Pellegrini explains Otamendi deal

Published 21/08/2015 | 23:28

Manchester City this week signed Nicolas Otamendi for around £32million
Manchester City this week signed Nicolas Otamendi for around £32million

Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City signed Nicolas Otamendi because he wanted a new central defender.

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City this week bought Otamendi from Valencia for around £32million having previously given little indication they were seeking a player in that position.

It was suggested the Spanish club may have pushed for the deal because they still owe City after agreeing to sign Alvaro Negredo for £24million last year, but manager Pellegrini says that was not a factor.

The Chilean said: "(There was) not a change of mind in the last moment. We tried to buy a centre-back from the beginning of this new season. For different reasons we couldn't buy before. Always in my mind was to bring in a centre-back this year.

"We worked during the summer with different options. We moved a lot of different options. Finally we agreed that the best option was Otamendi but, I repeat, it was the idea I had from the beginning."

There were also reports that City defender Eliaquim Mangala, a £42million signing last year, could move to Valencia on loan as part of the deal for Otamendi.

Pellegrini admits this possibility was raised but he refused. Mangala, who had a mixed first season at City, has started the new campaign well and Pellegrini wanted to retain him along with Otamendi, captain Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis.

Pellegrini said: "There was a lot of talking about different options. The option that we wanted was to bring Otamendi here, so Otamendi is here. The conversation may have had a lot of options, but finally I decided that Mangala must stay here with Otamendi."

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