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Man City ready to swap Otamendi for Argentine starlet with £19m clause – Is it a right move?

Lucas Martinez Quarta helped River Plate reach the Copa Libertadores finals last season (Getty Images)
Lucas Martinez Quarta helped River Plate reach the Copa Libertadores finals last season (Getty Images)

Why Manchester City should make a move for Lucas Martinez Quarta

According to TNT Sports (h/t The Sun), Manchester City want River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta in exchange for Nicolas Otamendi.

Defending champions City are on the lookout for a centre-back and manager Pep Guardiola seems to be an admirer of 23-year-old Quarta. However, it wouldn’t be an easy task for City to lure the Argentine defender, who has a £19million release clause in his contract, which runs until 2021.

Argentina's River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta celebrates after scoring the team's second goal against Peru's Alianza Lima during the Copa Libertadores group A football match at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 11, 2019.
Argentina’s River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal against Peru’s Alianza Lima during the Copa Libertadores group A football match in April last year. (Getty Images)

City also face competition from clubs such as Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Valencia, who are hot on the trail for the young defender’s signature. Having broken through the ranks from River Plate’s youth setup, Quarta has so far made 96 appearances since his debut in 2016.

He also won the Copa Libertadores for the Argentinian outfit in 2018, earning his first national team cap in September last year.

Man City can solve their defensive woes by signing Quarta

Meanwhile, City have failed to rope in a centre-back since the departure of former captain Vincent Kompany last summer. Spaniard Guardiola chose to go with his side’s set of defenders, which, in turn, seems to have proved costly for the defending champions.

Former skipper Vincent Kompany left Manchester City last summer.
Former skipper Vincent Kompany left Manchester City last summer. (Getty Images)

Injury to main man Aymeric Laporte early in the season and the poor form of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones have seen them slip this season. Otamendi and Stones’ inconsistency had even forced Guardiola to deploy seasoned midfielder Fernandinho in the back-line.

With the side suffering at the back this season, City have fallen way behind leaders Liverpool, who are 25 points ahead of them. For a side that conceded just 23 goals last season, City’s displays this season have been far from impressive.

After playing 28 league matches, City have already let in 31 goals, speaking volumes about the side’s lack of an established centre-back.

Meanwhile, Otamendi, who still has two years left in his Etihad contract has had a dip in form since last season. He has not been in the best of forms this season either, managing just 19 league appearances, forcing Guardiola to offer him in return for the young Quarta.

Veteran defender Nicolas Otamendi's form has been declining since last season.
Veteran defender Nicolas Otamendi’s form has been declining since last season. (Getty Images)

Moreover, he turned 32 this February and is no more the defender he was when he joined City from Valencia back in 2015. Hence, a swap deal involving Quarta and Otamendi seems like a wise move by Guardiola’s City.

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Verdict

Former captain Kompany’s departure has left a big void to be filled and City made a mistake by not finding a replacement for him. In Quarta, City have a proven centre-back, who has been a regular feature at River Plate over the last few years. Also, considering Otamendi’s decline in form in recent times, a swap deal involving the two Argentines seems like a step in the right direction.

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