Manchester City have finally made a headway in the search for a central defender. Portuguese Primeira Liga side Benfica have confirmed an agreement with City for the sale of Ruben Dias in a £61.9m (€68m/$79m) deal plus £3.3m in potential add-ons depending on his success at the club.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Otamendi will head the opposite direction in a separate deal. The 32-year-old Argentine will join the Portuguese side for £14m (€15m/$17m).
It has been an open secret for two seasons now that Man City desperately need strengthening at the back. Vincent Kompany’s departure left manager Pep Guardiola short-handed at the center of defence. But surprisingly, the Catalan failed to secure a replacement for the inspirational Belgian last term.
It was a decision which cost the team dearly especially after Aymeric Larporte’s injury. Numerous defeats resulting from a weak defence led to the side meekly surrendering the league title to Liverpool. The main goal in this transfer window has been to plug the gaping hole at the back.
Sunday’s humiliating 5-2 Premier League defeat at the Etihad Stadium by Leicester City underscored the need to act fast on the matter. It does appear the solution has been found as Portugal international Dias could prove to be a vital signing.
The 23-year-old comes with a huge reputation and promise having been named Primeira Liga’s Young Player of the Year in 2017. That was his first year in Benfica’s senior team after impressing and earning promotion from the club’s B side.
He scored in his last game for the club on Saturday which is another positive. In Dias, we are getting a player who is not only good at his primary job on the pitch but goes the extra mile by contributing on the other end.
Playing on the right side of central defence, he will be the ideal partner for Aymeric Larpote moving forward. Wishing him a successful time at the club and many successful years for the team.