Belfast Telegraph

Agent talks up Otamendi link to Real Madrid ahead of Pepe's departure

By Luke Brown

The agent of Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has claimed that his client will be a transfer target for Real Madrid when the transfer window reopens, as the European champions prepare to lose their 33-year-old defender Pepe.

The Argentine signed for City at the beginning of last season but, despite making 50 Premier League appearances for the club, has never looked truly at home in the Premier League.

Prior to moving to England, Otamendi spent a highly impressive season in La Liga playing for Valencia. His stock remains high in the country and in recent weeks the Spanish press have been linking the player with a move to Real Madrid, who are on the hunt for a new centre-back given that Pepe's contract runs out at the end of the season.

The veteran defender has been linked with a lucrative end of career move to the Chinese Super League.

Speaking on Radio Continential, Martin Sendoa confirmed that his client has long been scouted by Zinedine Zidane's team.

"Nico has a profile very similar to Pepe, who will leave at the end of the season," Sendoa said.

"It is true that Madrid have followed him for a long time, since his time at Valencia, along with Barcelona."

• QPR manager Ian Holloway believes Conor Washington has been rejuvenated by playing in his natural position.

Washington scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Wigan at Loftus Road last night - his fourth goal in six matches.

He set up an early opener for strike partner Matt Smith and then restored Rangers' lead after Omar Bogle had equalised with a penalty.

Holloway said: "He's a centre-forward and he knows he can play with Matt Smith. When he's in a two he's fantastic. If you know what your job is, which is to go and score a goal instead of worrying about defending all the time, it makes a difference."

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