Manchester City appear to be days, if not hours, away from officially announcing Benfica’s star center back Ruben Dias as the club’s newest signing. According to multiple sources, City have agreed to send 50 million pounds and fellow CB Nicolas Otamendi to the Portuguese giant in order to complete this massive deal. Diaz will also reportedly sign a three-year contract with the Cityzens after completing his medical examination in Manchester.
This newest update comes only hours after Benfica defeated Moreirense 2-0, during which Dias started with the captain’s armband and later scored the opening goal of the match. Following the contest, Benfica manger Jorge Jesus fielded questions regarding his star man, and hinted that this was his final game with his boyhood club.
“I would like to be absolutely sure, but it was almost certainly the last game he played.” Jesus said. “In football you never know, sometimes everything changes in the last second, but I think that will not happen. He is a player we are sorry to see leave. He’s a great player.”
Many teams across Europe would agree with that final assessment. Portugal is well known for cultivating strong defenders, but if you were to ask which center back right now has the most potential, most people would probably agreed that it’s Dias. The 23-year-old started his top flight career at Benfica back in 2017 after moving up from Benfica’s second team. During his three full seasons on the first team, he earned more and more play time year over year in the Primeira Liga, and also led his club to a league title and a Supertaca. In 2018, he was named the league’s best young player as well.
He was soon called up to the Portuguese National Team in 2018 and has since earned 19 caps for his country. He also represented his nation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but did not play a minute.
Once Dias does join Pep Guardiola’s club, he’ll be one of four players on the roster to have previously played at Benfica. Fellow countrymen Bernardo Silva (2013-15) and Joao Cancelo (2014-15) played at other clubs in between, however goalkeeper Ederson (2015-17) made the same move as Dias. All four, however, are all graduates of the famed Benfica Campus, a youth academy that’s also helped cultivate players like Gonzalo Guedes and Joao Felix.
Dias will now join a center back core at Manchester that features a bunch of names but no definitive rock. Aymeric Laporte has looked like a top five CB in England for a few years, but he’s dipped a bit in quality thanks largely to some injury issues. John Stones has been grossly inconsistent and surely not good enough for Pep Guardiola anymore. Nathan Ake is the club’s other new signing, along with Dias, and while he has a lot of Premier League experience, he’s yet to prove himself on the side. And Eric Garcia looks to be heading out of the club soon to move to Barcelona. So Dias should surely be a welcome addition to a club with massive aspirations.
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