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Atletico Madrid consider Nicolas Otamendi swoop?

Atletico Madrid consider Otamendi swoop?
© Reuters
Atletico Madrid reportedly line up Manchester City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi as a possible transfer target should they miss out on Espanyol's Mario Hermoso.

Atletico Madrid have reportedly identified Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi as a possible alternative should they miss out on their main transfer target this summer.

The La Liga runners-up are in the market for defensive reinforcements ahead of the 2019-20 campaign having seen Diego Godin, Juanfran and Lucas Hernandez all leave the club during the current transfer window.

Espanyol centre-back Mario Hermoso is understood to be Atleti's top target in that position, but his €40m (£35.8m) asking price is proving to be a sticking point in negotiations.

Marca reports that Diego Simeone's side are unwilling to meet Hermoso's full release clause due to the fact that he only has one year remaining on his contract, and could instead switch their attention to alternative targets.

City's Otamendi, who found himself behind the likes of Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Vincent Kompany at the Etihad Stadium last season, is one of the players on their shortlist, alongside Ajax and former Manchester United defender Daley Blind.

Simeone is understood to prefer Otamendi due to his aerial presence, but the Argentinian's wage demands could present an obstacle in any negotiations.

Otamendi still has three years to run on his current contract with the Premier League champions, although the 31-year-old could be open to a move away in search of more regular first-team football.

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Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi in action during the EFL Cup final against Chelsea on February 24, 2019
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