PEP GUARDIOLA is poised to finally end his search for a new centre back by landing Benfica’s Ruben Dias.
Manchester City have been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly for much of the summer as well as Jules Kounde of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
But on Friday it emerged that Dias was now the No1 target with reports in Portugal saying a deal is close.
The fee is believed to be around £50million with City’s Nicolas Otamendi going in the opposite direction as a makeweight.
Dias, 23, was made captain for Benfica's 2-0 win over Moreirense on Saturday evening and responded by scoring the opening goal.
Later his girlfriend posted a picture of them on social media with the caption ‘here we go’ – with reports suggesting they were bound for Manchester.
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After the game, Dias said: “I am very happy.
"It was a very important game for me and to be able to consecrate the game with a goal, it was very special for me.
“It is a special moment and I think everyone already knows why.”
Coach Jorge Jesus stopped short of saying his key defender was definitely leaving but said: “I'm almost sure it was the last game.
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"In football, sometimes everything changes at the last second, but I think that will not happen. We are sorry to see you go.
“But I also have some blame for him leaving. It has to do with the elimination of the Champions League.
“There are things that have to be balanced and Rúben has a high market."
Asked about the prospect of signing Otamendi, who has been with City for the last five years, Jesus seemed keen.
He said: “He is a player who has already shown his worth at Porto.
“He is a player of the Argentine national team and has always been a starter at Manchester City, he just stopped being now.
"Of course, he is a player I like. The player who enters will realise that my ideas are completely different from those he had at Manchester City.
"If I have a choice, I want Ruben. But if I have to have Otamendi, I'm satisfied.
“In Portugal, he has justified all his value and Pep must not be stupid.
"If you want Ruben and let Otamendi come here, you should see what we all see."
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