Chelsea will significantly boost their defensive options next summer after reportedly completing a deal for highly rated Porto centre-back Nicolas Otamendi.
Reports in Spain suggest the current Europa League champions have beaten off stiff competition from Barcelona and AC Milan in persuading the 25-year-old to move to west London.
The deal will see him join up with his teammates in the summer.
Jose Mourinho has been tracking the progress of Otamendi since his days as Real Madrid boss but never could get a deal done for the player as he didn’t fit the “los galactico” criteria desired by Madrid owner Florentino Perez.
Otamendi possesses the winning mentality that Mourinho craves
Since joining Porto in 2010, the Argentine international has enjoyed huge domestic and European success with the Portuguese giants.
He has shone at the heart of a defence that delivered three Primeira Liga tiles, three Portuguese Super Cup’s and a memorable Europa League success under now Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas in 2011, where they beat Braga 1-0 in the final.
A replacement for the ageing John Terry
Despite playing every minute of Chelsea’s Premier League campaign so far this term, the flaws in Terry’s game are becoming more obvious.
His lack of pace and injury problems were identified by former Chelsea boss Rafa Benetiz last season, as the Blues skipper, who’s contract runs out at the end of next season, struggled to nail down a regular place under the Spaniard.
Although Terry has a great relationship with Mourinho, who is keen to extend his deal by one year, there are rumours circulating that chairman Roman Abramovich isn’t keen on forking out £7million (Terry’s yearly salary) on keeping a player that is past his peak.
David Luiz can move into midfield
Mourinho doesn’t believe the flamboyant Brazilian has the concentration levels to play at centre-back and is keen to move him into a more advanced position at the base of the midfield.
By signing Otamendi it gives Mourinho more flexibility and freedom to make the most of Luiz’s midfield talent.