It’s hard to overstate just what a hero Nicolas Otamendi was for Valencia. In the one season Otamendi was with the club he managed to become arguably their most important player, and almost certainly the darling of the fans.

Celebrating goals with a salute, he scored six in his one season, Otamendi was named the General. Given all of that, when he forced his way out of Valencia with the help of Jorge Mendes, who was supposed to be a friend of the Spanish club, it didn’t go down very well.

Mendes flew Otamendi over to Manchester and holed him up in the Lowry hotel whilst negotiations were still being finalised, Valencia lost their hero.

Otamendi hasn’t been the warrior for Manchester City that he was for Valencia and Pep Guardiola has at times preferred other options to the Argentine. Still, a summer exit would be surprising given City’s weakness in defence and Vincent Kompany edging closer to the exit.

El Confidencial, who have been very good with Real Madrid ins and outs in recent years, claim Mendes has offered Otamendi to Real Madrid. With Pepe expected to leave for China when his contract ends in the summer, and repeated worries over Raphael Varane’s fitness, Madrid could be considered short.

In Spain Otamendi may be able to reawaken his inner warrior, and form a formindable double act with Sergio Ramos. Real Madrid were interested when Otamendi moved to Manchester City, but their need wasn’t great and the effort all seemed too much.

The attempt has the ‘unconditional approval’ of Otamendi, and Real Madrid are said to be keen. Manchester City would be the problem, with Otamendi having a contract until June 2020.

It’s unlikely Real Madrid would want to pay a huge fee for a 29 year old. That is unless Varane suffers yet more injury woe between now and the end of the season.

This one could get interesting.