Manchester City's new signing Nicolas Otamendi has suggested he was set on a move to Etihad Stadium since the beginning of the transfer window, despite having been linked to Manchester United and Real Madrid through the summer. The centre-back has also hailed the importance of the number Argentinian players in the squad and the manager Manuel Pellegrini in making his "dream" move to the Premier League giants.
Earlier Otamendi's agent, Eugenio Lopez, revealed his client was likely to leave Valencia in order to make a step up in his career. Reports in Spain since claimed that all City, United and Real Madrid were interested in securing his services although reluctant to meet his €50m (£36.3m) release clause.
Valencia-based publication Super Deporte reported that both Louis van Gaal was ready to fight with Real Madrid for his signature amid the Sergio Ramos transfer saga while later Cadena Ser added that Manuel Pellegrini's side have also joined the race for the Argentinian.
Following weeks of negotiations with Valencia the Citizens eventually secured his services on 20 August, after agreeing to pay around £32m to the La Liga side to secure his services. Otamendi has now refused to confirm whether other clubs were interested in securing his services, but suggested that since Copa America played earlier in July he had his set on a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Asked why he chose to move to City during an interview with ESPN radio, Otamendi said: "Because even before the Copa America I had already spoken with el Kun (Sergio Aguero) about it as the interest from City was always there."
"The fact that there are other Argentinians here like Pablo (Zabaleta), Martin (Demichelis), Willy (Caballero) there too was a positive element when the time to make a decisive decision came about. I talked in depth to Pellegrini and he convinced me. They were looking for a central defender with my profile and I found their project to be attractive. I hope we have a good season and do well in the Champions League".
The centre-back said that it was a difficult decision to leave a club like Valencia. But he said he couldn't pass the big opportunity to play in the Premier League.
"I had an amazing season with Valencia and leave a great project that will carry on. We had a fantastic season and acknowledge that my leaving was complex. I accept the opinion of the fans. I am content in the knowledge that I gave my all and did what I love most, playing football.
"Afterwards, one has to make a decision, not just in footballing terms, but also on a personal level with family considerations. As hard as it is, it was always a boyhood dream of mine to play in the Premier League. A chance like this doesn't come around every day, so I had to grab it".
The centre-back is yet to make his debut for the Citizens due to work permit issues. But he says that as soon as he has the chance he will try to repay the club for turning him into one of the most expensive defenders in the history.
"To be one of the most expensive centre-backs makes one feel proud. On the pitch, there is nowhere to hide. When the time comes to play it's up to me to do my best".