Reeling from their major loss to Leicester city on sunday, Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign Portugal defender Ruben Dias from Benfica for £65m, City’s Argentina centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, 32, will go the other way for about £13.7m in a separate transfer. Manager Pep Guardiola has wanted a right-sided central defender since Vincent Kompany retired last summer.
On Sunday night Benfica released a statement confirming the two transfers but said contracts still need to be signed by the players. Dias, 23, was captain for Benfica’s win over Moreirense on Saturday and hugged team-mates and sporting director Rui Costa at the final whistle. After the match, Dias who had scored his 12th goal for the club in 133 appearances told Benfica TV, It was a very important game for me and being able to mark it with a goal was very special.
“I believe that everyone already has an idea why I hugged Rui Costa.”
The failure to secure a replacement for former skipper Kompany was seen as a major reason for City not putting up more of a challenge to Liverpool in last season’s Premier League title race.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, 29, was initially City’s top target this summer, but the Italian club wanted £80m for the Senegal defender, which City were not prepared to pay.