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United trawling Spain for defenders, apparently

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According to reports, Louis van Gaal is shopping around La Liga for defensive reinforcements.

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Rumours! Rumours! Getcha rumours here's Two for the price of one! Two for one! Getcha rumours here!

Ah, hello. What can I get you? How about our Double Defender Deal? One old rumour, one new (ish). One Argentinian, one Brazilian. Two centre-halves, both playing in Spain, both for teams beginning with 'V'. Sound good? Excellent. Well, here you go:

(Doubtless you'll have views on Guillem Balague's trustworthiness, and he has got the occasional clanger wrong before. But he's worth mentioning, we think, and he's sometimes early and accurate when it comes to Spanish stuff.)

You'll be familiar with Nicolás Otamendi, of course. Apparently United were in for him last January, when he left Porto, though he instead went to Valencia (via a loan spell in Brazil for administrative reasons). He returned to Spain for the beginning of this season, and has generally impressed in Valencia's generally impressive league campaign. He's 26, he's nice and scrappy, he'd be a decent addition to United's Spanish-speaking clique, and tBB has always thought him pretty good. Expensive, too, if reports that Valencia will insist on the full buyout clause of £40m.

As for Gabriel, well, tBB is unfamiliar with his work. But Villareal are in sixth in the league and if Arsenal being interested in a defender isn't a mark of quality, we don't what is. Slightly younger at 24, and reportedly slightly cheaper. Anybody seen him play? Is he an upgrade on Jonny Evans?

Enjoy your rumours!

Update: according to the MEN's Stuart Mathieson, the story of a bid for Otamendi is "not true". We should point out at this stage that tBB does not offer refunds.