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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.

Argentinean international defender Nicolas Otamendi will join La Liga side Valencia from Porto in July for a fee of 12 million euros ($16.2 million), both clubs announced on Wednesday.

"After playing at a very prestigious and big club like Porto, it is an honor for me to now come to one of the most historic and attractive clubs in Spain and Europe like Valencia," Otamendi said in a statement on the Valencia website.

"I am very happy to take this next step in my career."

Valencia had a hectic end to the recently closed transfer window as four first team players left in the final 48 hours, whilst Seydou Keita, Philippe Senderos, Vinicius Araujo and Ruben Vezo all arrived.

Despite not being able to count on any on their new signings from the start, Los Che had a confidence-building 3-2 win away to Barcelona on Saturday as they became the first side since April 2012 to win at the Camp Nou in the league.

However, Juan Antonio Pizzi's men remain 15 points off Athletic Bilbao in the fourth and final Champions League spot.