Ruben Dias to Manchester City has been confirmed by Benfica, as the Portuguese international center back will complete his $84 million transfer to the Premier League.
Given their 5-2 mauling at home against Leicester City on Sunday, City need defensive help. Big time.
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Dias, 23, is regarded as one of the best central defensive players in Europe and Pep Guardiola’s Man City have moved swiftly to try and address their defensive issues.
In a statement on their website, Portuguese giants Benfica confirmed the sale of Dias as the formalities of the move will now be ironed in the coming days.
“In the first statement (10:59 pm) it informed that it had reached an agreement with Manchester City for the sale of the central defender Ruben Dias for 68 million euros, plus an additional 3.6 million euros, depending on the achievement of objectives related to the sporting performance of the English club. This agreement is dependent on the signing of the player’s sports labor contract with Manchester City.”
Benfica also announced that they have bought Man City defender Nicolas Otamendi, 32, for $17.5 million to replace Dias.
“In the second statement (11 pm) Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD informed that it has reached an agreement with Manchester City for the signing of the central defender Nicolas Otamendi for 15 million euros. This agreement is dependent on the signing of a sports labor contract with the player and the completion of medical examinations.”
After spending $53 million on center back Nathan Ake already this summer, Guardiola is still trying to fill a Vincent Kompany sized hole in his defense. 12 months on, Man City are still struggling defensively.
Kalidou Koulibaly was linked with a move to Man City but it is believed they couldn’t agree a deal with Napoli and have instead gone for Dias. With Aymeric Laporte close to a return to full fitness, there is no doubt Man City’s defense will improve in the coming weeks and months.
And my goodness, it has to. If Pep Guardiola’s side have any chance of winning the Premier League and challenging for the Champions League they simply have to get better at the back, and the current players have shown they aren’t up to the task. An upgrade on their current full backs will be needed as well as Dias and Ake.
Dias is a confident defender on the ball, which will suit City, but more importantly they need him to hit the ground running and be a dominant defender.