Man City paired with swoop for target with £87m release clause to address key issue

Man City are reportedly interested in Benfica defender Ruben Dias but could face competition from Barcelona for his signature.

The 22-year-old has continued to establish himself as a key figure for the Portuguese giants this season, making 39 appearances across all competitions while chipping in with three goals and two assists to show an ability to make an impact at the opposite end of the pitch too.

SEE MORE: Man City face transfer scrap with Barcelona, Real Madrid over €80m-rated target

Having come through the ranks at Benfica and with his current deal running until 2024, they appear to be in a strong position to keep hold of him for the foreseeable future if he wishes to stay and continue to develop there.

However, their hopes of keeping him could become increasingly complicated as Man City and Barcelona are said to be interested in him and his £87m release clause hasn’t put them off, as reported by the Daily Mail, via Record.

Given Samuel Umtiti’s injury troubles dating back to last season and Gerard Pique turning 34 next year, it’s clear why the Catalan giants would be interested in bolstering their defensive options sooner rather than later.

Similarly for Man City though, Pep Guardiola will surely be prioritising his backline this summer as they haven’t been as solid at the back this season after losing talismanic captain Vincent Kompany last summer while Aymeric Laporte has missed a significant part of the campaign due to injury.

The reigning Premier League champions have conceded 31 goals in their 28 league games so far this season, and given that they let in just 23 goals in the whole of last season, it just shows where they have certainly regressed this year.

In turn, Dias could be a smart move to address that key issue, although given the possible financial impact of the coronavirus crisis coupled with City’s current ban from Europe which is still subject to an appeal, it remains to be seen if those factors complicate such big-money moves this summer.

The Mail add that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira won’t willingly sell any of his players for lower fees this summer, and so time will tell if a move can still materialise.

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