Neither of Sevilla or Atletico Madrid have enjoyed their first half of the season, although the latter are in a much healthier position. Both have been unable to rely on a strong defence, which has been a feature of their best play in recent years.
As such, Jorge Sampaoli is looking to bring in an experienced leader to marshal his defence. In this case, Sampaoli will look to World Cup winner Nicolas Otamendi.
The 34-year-old is currently at Benfica and performing well, but is out of contract at the end of the summer. According to Todofichajes, having rejected several renewal offers, Benfica will allow Otamendi out the door for a small fee this January.
Sampaoli knows Otamendi from his own time as manager of the Albiceleste, and it looks like an ideal addition to Sevilla’s rudderless defence. However another Argentine coach is said to be courting Otamendi. He is not the only defender Simeone is pursuing, but Otamendi looks far more likely.
Diego Simeone wants another central defender this winter after struggling to put out a solid defence. Felipe is set to depart and that would leave Los Colchoneros with only three natural options for the position. In Otamendi, he would have a rugged fighter in the backline.
Theoretically, Atleti are able to offer Otamendi a higher level of competition and more money, but Sampaoli might sell Otamendi the idea that he is a guaranteed starter and leader of his defence.