Man City to hijack rivals Man Utd’s move top defensive target in January

Ruben Dias is reportedly attracting attention from Manchester City now as well as Manchester United.

According to the Daily Mirror, City are planning to beat United to the signing of Benfica’s star defender. 

The paper understands that Pep Guardiola is set to make an approach to sign Dias in January since City’s defence has been subject to criticism this season. One can’t blame him, of course, having to watch Nicolás Otamendi trying to defend most weeks.

City have already paid the price for a lack of depth in central defence this season. Star centre-back America Laporte and Jones Stones are both ruled out with injury and the club waved goodbye to veteran Vincent Kompany in the summer.

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As a result Guardiola has had to play defensive midfielder Fernandinho in defence, though the Brazilian has probably been one of his better performers despite played out of position. 

But results aren’t exactly going City’s way with Liverpool currently eight points clear on top of the Premier League table.

The Mirror claims that Dias is contracted until 2024 but he has a release clause worth £59m, though Benfica are allegedly trying to improve the ace’s contract to raise this to £79m.

Pricey for a centre-back with no Premier League experience.

As for United, problems still exist in defence despite the arrival of Harry Maguire in the summer. It’s going to take time for the England international to fully settle and find his defensive partner, whether it’s Victor Lindelof or Axel Tuanzebe.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may even look to the transfer market again since United have been linked with Dias in the past and you’d think the club already has scout reports on the Portugal international.

Dias has more experience than most 22-year-old’s with 89 appearances in the Benfica first-team. There will come a time — maybe soon — when he wants a bit more and to join a bigger club with higher objectives than the Portuguese giants.

In the summer he was named as the Man of the Match in the UEFA Nations League final after Portugal beat the Netherlands. 

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