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Manchester City sign Benfica's Ruben Dias

Pep sets his sights on Ruben Dias
Pep sets his sights on Ruben Dias
Varun Totadri
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 28 Sep 2020, 14:45 IST
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Manchester City have reached an agreement with Benfica in a deal that would see Ruben Dias join Manchester City, and defender Nicolas Otamendi moving to Benfica.

Ruben Dias will reportedly cost Manchester City £62 million, plus £3.3 million in potential add-ons, while Nicolas Otamendi will leave for Benfica in a deal worth £14 million.

Ruben Dias has been a regular starter for Benfica since rising through their youth system. He made his debut in 2017 and was named the Primeira Liga's Young Player of the Year.

Ruben Dias' solid performances helped Benfica win the league title in the 2018–19 season and the 2019-20 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. He was also named in the Primeira Liga's Team of the Year.

Dias had been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs, with Manchester City's cross-town rivals Manchester United, showing interest in the Portuguese defender. Manchester City have however beaten their rivals to the signature of Ruben Dias, having reached an agreement with Benfica.

Benfica confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, shortly before announcing the £14 million acquisition of Otamendi from Manchester City.

Nicolas Otamendi will be leaving Manchester City after spending five seasons at the club, amassing 136 league appearances, and helped Manchester City win the Premier League in 2017–18 and 2018–19, as well as four League Cups and an FA Cup.

Otamendi has however, been somewhat of a liability for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, in recent times. Otamendi has been prone to making costly mistakes, and has been out of favour at City for the last couple of seasons.

Manchester City seal the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica, with Nicolas Otamendi heading in the opposite direction

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Can Ruben Dias be the catalyst City need?
Can Ruben Dias be the catalyst City need?

The signing of Ruben Dias will give Manchester City a massive lift, after they lost their second match of the 2020-21 Premier League Campaign to Leicester City.

Manchester City were thrashed 5-2 at home by Leicester, thanks to a hat-trick from the 2019-20 Premier League Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy. City's defensive weaknesses and instability were laid in plain sight for everyone to see.

Manchester City have already invested in a central defender this summer, signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40 million. City have been actively looking to sign another top-quality centre-back to partner Nathan Ake at the heart of their defence.

Manchester City were also linked with a move for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. But with Napoli demanding €100 million for the 29-year-old Senegalese defender, they chose to switch their focus to the younger and cheaper option, Ruben Dias.

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At the young age of 23, Ruben Dias has already played close to 100 league games for Benfica, and has been capped 19 times by the Portugal national side. Dias is one of the top young centre-backs in the world, and could prove to a massive signing for Manchester City.

Manchester City will be hoping that Ruben Dias will take little time to adjust to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, as they look to challenge Liverpool for the title this season.

Published 28 Sep 2020, 14:45 IST
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