Garay to replace Otamendi?

Valencia will replace Manchester City-bound Nicolas Otamendi with Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay, reports say.

Otamendi is expected to complete a €45m move to the Premier League in the very near future, leaving Valencia in need of reinforcements to the centre of defence.

AS say that Garay, formerly of Benfica, Real Madrid and Racing Santander, is the player Los Che have targeted.

Valencia originally wanted a player signed early this week so he could participate in the Champions League play-off, but when that proved impossible, the decision was taken to use the full 11 days left of the transfer window.

Zenit are expected to hold out for a substantial transfer fee before they release Garay, which complicates matters as Valencia have to be wary of breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Their success, or otherwise, in reaching the Champions League proper will also be a factor in the attempt to get Garay out of Russia.

Super Deporte add that Stuttgart’s Antonio Rudiger is also well liked at Mestalla but he looks set to go to Roma.

Stefan De Vrij, the Lazio player, also has his admirers but wouldn’t come cheap, and River Plate’s Emanuel Mammana is an option, although his lack of experience possibly rules him out.

Tags Ezequiel Garay Manchester City Nicolas Otamendi