Manchester City has confirmed the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica for €68 million-plus add-ons.
According to reports, Nicolas Otamendi also joins the Portuguese club in a separate transfer for €15m.
City focused on Dias move after refusing to pay the asking price for Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
23-year-old Dias made 137 appearances during a four-year spell with Benfica, winning the league title in 2018-19.
He already has 19 caps with Portugal, he and was part of the side that lifted the UEFA Nations League trophy last year.
His arrival is expected to shore up a leaky City defence which shipped five goals to Leicester City at home on Sunday.
Dias is City’s fifth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Pablo Moreno, Ferran Torres, Nathan Ake, and Scott Carson. He will be wearing the number three jersey after signing a six-year contract, which keeps him at the Club until the summer of 2026.
Man City move was an easy decision
Dias , who has developed a reputation as one of the most promising defenders in Europe, said moving to City was an easy decision, adding that he is joining a club where he can improve and be successful.
“To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down.
“Their success speaks for itself. They have been the dominant team in England over the last few years, playing an attacking brand of football which I feel suits my own game.
“It is really exciting to be part of such a talented squad and to play for a world class manager like Pep Guardiola, who has a proven track record of developing young players like myself.
“I believe I can improve here, at a club whose ambitions match my own and I will give everything to be successful and win titles,” he said.
Ruben Dias is admired
On his part, City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, described the Portuguese as an admired player.
“Ruben is a player we have admired for some time and we have been impressed with how he has progressed at Benfica.
“He has developed into a real leader and as a defender, he has all the attributes we are looking for. He is strong in the air, good in one v one situations and technically, he is very good, so we are confident he can thrive in our system.
“He is young, but has experience playing for a top European club in Benfica and we’re really pleased we’ve been able to sign him.
“He is another talented addition to the squad and someone who is only going to get better working under Pep.”
Otamendi’s success at City
On the other hand, 32-year-old Otamendi won two Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup, two Community Shield during his five-year spell at the Etihad.
Otamendi also made 210 appearances, scoring 11 goals. He described his stay ay Etihad as memorable.
“They were five wonderful years, not just in a footballing sense, but also at a club where they treat you in the best way possible, from the chefs to the kitmen, through to the backroom staff.
“I’ve had the opportunity to win two Premier Leagues, to win the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the Community Shield. If you win titles it is because you are doing things well, and so I’m happy to have enjoyed these moments, and more than grateful.
“I was lucky enough since the first year I arrived to win a trophy, and later with the arrival of Pep to win even more. I am just happy to have played my part, with the support of my teammates and the staff.
“I [also] wanted to show my gratitude [to the fans]. Since my arrival they have always treated me well, from the people who bump into me in a service station or in a supermarket, they have always been so kind, saying nice things to me.
“I hope they are happy; I gave everything I could to the club, and I hope the success keeps coming. I send all my love to the fans,” he told mancity.com.