Argentine central defender Nicolás Otamendi has been loaned to Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro
until the end of the European season in June.
The defender recently left FC Porto to join Valencia
, but since the move happened after the January transfer window had closed, he was not allowed to play for his new club. The highly-rated Argentine player will replace Emerson, who recently got seriously injured and will be out for six months.
Valencia paid 12 million Euros for the centerback and besides Atlético Mineiro, other clubs were interested in bringing him on loan, but the Argentine clubs could not afford his wages while Otamendi was not interested in a move to Eastern Europe.
The defender is a contender for a place in Argentina's World Cup squad and thus needed to keep playing to stay fit for the world's main competition.
Deco helped make the loan move to Atlético Mineiro, the retired Brazil-born Portuguese player represents agent Jorge Mendes in Brazil.
Otamendi's debut at Atlético Mineiro has not been decided yet but his experience is expected to help Atlético Mineiro in their goal of retaining the Copa Libertadores title.
Besides Nicolás Otamendi, Atlético Mineiro have also signed Edcarlos, a central defender who recently played for Seongnam in South Korea.