Manchester City have signed defender Ruben Dias from Benfica for £65m, with Nicolas Otamendi going the opposite direction in a separate deal.
Dias, is the Etihad club’s third signing of the summer following the arrivals of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and Ferran Torres from Valencia and, has signed a six-year deal at the Etihad. He will wear the No 3 shirt at City.
Benefica confirmed an agreement had been reached with City for Dias on their official website on Sunday, after which they announced a €15m (£13.67m) deal for Otamendi.
The 23-year-old was a mainstay for Portuguese club Benfica since emerging through the academy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, and was in Portugal’s 2018 World Cup squad.
The Portugal international was linked with some of Europe elite clubs, including Manchester United, but the defender has joined rivals City.
Dias will join City for an initial £62m, with a further £3m subject to add-ons.
“To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down,” Dias told the club’s website.
“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.”
Dias scored and captained Benfica in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Moreinense, after which Dias hugged his teammates and Benfica’s sporting director Rui Costa as he left the field at full-time.
Dias’ arrival ends City boss Pep Guardiola’s search for a right-sided centre-back since the departure of Vincent Kompany last year.
City director of football, Txiki Begiristain, added: “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, 32, arrived City from Valencia in 2015 and won two Premier League titles with the sky blue of Manchester.
The Argentine told the club’s official website: “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 team-mates and the staff.”
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