Nicolas Otamendi
Nicolas Otamendi is a transfer target for Manchester UnitedGetty

Manchester United are considering a move in signing Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi this summer, according to the Spanish newspaper AS.

The 27-year-old has started in 33 league games for the Spanish side, scoring four goals in the process. He is a powerful defender and has played a crucial role in helping his side sit fourth on the La Liga table.

Otamendi's form has seen him being named in the Argentina squad for the upcoming 2015 Copa America in Chile. However, the defender's priority is to finish the season and then help his side win the South American championship.

The centre-back is not sure about his future beyond that as Louis van Gaal is looking to make an approach for him. United made a move in signing him in January, which was turned down by the Spanish outfit.

The Old Trafford club will make another offer in bringing him to England in the summer transfer window. Former United star Mikael Silvestre said in an interview with IBTimes UK that Van Gaal should prioritise signing defenders to strengthen his side's back four for the next season.

United have the services of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair as the first choice centre-backs at the club. The Red Devils are targeting Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels to bolster their defence.

With the German international likely to join the Premier League giants, Van Gaal wants to further strengthen the heart of United's defence in order to challenge Chelsea for the title. The Dutchman has set his sights on Otamendi, who has a €50m (£36m, $55.7m) release clause in his contract.

Any move from United in landing the Argentine international will see them face a tough task. Valencia general manager Francisco Rufete claimed that Otamendi is committed to his current employers, despite interest from United.

"Nobody has said that Otamendi wants to go, and this is not what he said either. We have to make good decisions but the important thing is the player, and there is no situation where Nico said something different from 'I want to be here'," Rufete explained.