BREAKING NEWS: Man City sign Ruben Dias as Otamendi joins Benfica

By Sports Desk September 27, 2020

Manchester City have signed centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica in a transfer worth an initial £62million (€68m) with Nicolas Otamendi heading the opposite way in a separate deal.

Portugal international Dias, 23, has been a regular for Primeira Liga side Benfica since emerging through the academy ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Dias has been linked with a number of big-name clubs around Europe, including Manchester United, but rivals City have now reached an agreement with Benfica.

The Portuguese side confirmed the news on their official website on Sunday, shortly before announcing a €15m (£13.67m) deal is in place for Otamendi.

Related items

  • Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite

    Roberto Mancini has led resurgent Italy back into the top 10 of the FIFA rankings after a four-year absence.

    The Azzurri are four-time World Cup winners but last featured in the higher echelons in the August 2016 rankings.

    Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup during Gian Piero Ventura's reign demonstrated their decline, but Mancini, who turned 56 on Friday, has engineered an impressive turnaround in fortunes.

    Italy were 20th on the FIFA list when Mancini took over as head coach in May 2018, but winning all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches not only re-established them as a major force, it has seen their ranking soar.

    Italy have reached the Nations League finals and are now unbeaten in 22 matches, their best such run since the year they won the World Cup in 2006.

    They enjoyed an 11-game winning streak within the current sequence and will be seeded for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

    Mancini praised his squad's efforts earlier this month, saying on RAI Sport: "The players have done a great job because it has not always been easy.

    "We have tried to become more offensive with our play. You have to have the right mentality to do so and have a style of play that all the great teams have."

    Italy climbed from 12th to 10th place in the new rankings, while Mexico also jumped two places, rising to ninth.

    For Mexico the wait to rejoin the top 10 had been even longer than it was for Italy - with a nine-year span since they last featured.

    Belgium remain top of the list, ahead of France and Brazil.

     

    FIFA rankings top 10: 1 Belgium, 2 France, 3 Brazil, 4 England, 5 Portugal, 6 Spain, 7 Argentina, 8 Uruguay, 9 Mexico, 10 Italy.

  • Premier League Fantasy Picks: Why Mahrez and Keane are worth a shot Premier League Fantasy Picks: Why Mahrez and Keane are worth a shot

    With coronavirus restrictions to be eased and fans allowed back into (some) stadia next month, matchday 10 will hopefully be the last of this season's Premier League where every game is behind closed doors.

    With that in mind, this weekend is likely to become something of a cut-off point in 2020-21 in terms of assessing how players and teams are faring, and whether the absence of fans has helped or hindered.

    In other words, if anyone likes playing in front of empty stands, this will be their last chance to really enjoy themselves – and rack up some fantasy football points for the discerning manager.

    Using Opta data, we've come up with our latest weekly selection, which might give some of you an edge heading into the festive period...

     

    KARL DARLOW

    Newcastle United fans might not be fully behind Steve Bruce, but one most can agree on is that goalkeeper Karl Darlow is enjoying career-best form.

    The 30-year-old has filled in admirably for Martin Dubravka this season, making more saves (41) than any other Premier League goalkeeper. In fact, only Edouard Mendy (87.5 per cent) has a better save percentage than Darlow (72.2 per cent).

    Goals are usually at a premium when Newcastle play Crystal Palace – only seven have been scored in the previous seven meetings – so a Darlow clean sheet could well be on the cards.

     

    MATT DOHERTY

    Matt Doherty is one of only three defenders to have scored and assisted four Premier League goals since the start of 2019-20.

    The Tottenham man has had 98 touches in the opposition box in that time, a tally bettered only by Andy Robertson when it comes to defenders.

    However, nobody beats Doherty for shots on target over that time frame (17). As a defender for a resolute Tottenham side, he's always worth including.

     

    MICHAEL KEANE

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been plundering the goal trail this season, but Michael Keane might just be Everton's most clinical finisher.

    No Premier League defender has scored more than Keane (three goals) since June 2020, and those goals have come from only seven shots, giving him the best conversion rate (42.9 per cent) among defenders to score more than once in the competition in that time.

    Everton have struggled for clean sheets lately but Keane at least could offset those defensive issues if he nets against Leeds United.

    RIYAD MAHREZ

    Burnley do not like playing Manchester City. They've won once in 12 Premier League meetings and lost the previous six in all competitions by an aggregate score of 23-1.

    They are also sick of the sight of Riyad Mahrez, who has scored four goals in his most recent three league games against the Clarets. They are his second favourite opponents, behind Watford (he has seven goals against them).

    Pep Guardiola could well rotate his side as the schedule continues to pile up, and Mahrez will be eager to impress.

     

    BRUNO FERNANDES

    Where would Manchester United be without Bruno Fernandes? Well, they'd be winless this season - he's scored the winning goal in each of their four league victories in 2020-21.

    In fact, Fernandes has been involved in more Premier League goals (24 – 14 scored, 10 assisted) than any other player since his debut. In the same period, only Kevin De Bruyne (74) has created more chances than the Portugal star (56).

    Facing Southampton away is a tough challenge for any side at the moment, so a decisive Fernandes display could be crucial for United.

    DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the way for goalscoring this season, with 10 in nine games.

    If he scores against Leeds United, he will become only the second player to score more than 10 in his side's first 10 games, after Les Ferdinand, who hit 13 in 1995-96.

    Leeds will be no pushovers, but Calvert-Lewin will take some stopping.

     

    TAMMY ABRAHAM

    Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is looking to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since last September.

    Abraham has actually scored twice as many goals (18) as any other Blues player since the beginning of last season.

    Frank Lampard has plenty of attacking riches at his disposal, but Abraham is out to prove a point to his boss.

  • Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star

    Is Donny van de Beek already heading for an Old Trafford exit?

    Van de Beek made the move from Ajax to Manchester United at the start of the season.

    But he is reportedly wanted by Juventus in Italy.

     

    TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK WANTED IN TURIN

    Juventus are plotting a move for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to Calciomercato.

    Van de Beek only swapped Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax for United at the start of the season, but he has struggled to cement a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's XI.

    Serie A champions are reportedly trying to reunite Van de Beek with former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt in Turin.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Corriere dello Sport report Liverpool have submitted a bid for Ajax centre-back Perr Schuurs. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are injured at Anfield.

    Chelsea are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez ahead of a 2021 transfer, says the Here We Go Podcast.

    - TodoFichajes claims Marseille star Florian Thauvin has agreed to join Milan on a free transfer.

    United have joined Premier League champions Liverpool in the race for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, according to La Razon. The 21-year-old has also impressed Chelsea.

    - Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu wants to join United, reports Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Turkey international is out of contract at the end of the season. Juve, Atletico and Inter have all been linked.

    - Football Insider says Arsenal are interested in signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai on loan in January and loaning him back to the Austrian champions.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.