Ruben Dias 'Watched' by Man City as Pep Guardiola Plans to Strengthen Defence

Ruben Dias
Ruben Dias 'has been watched' by Manchester City | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Benfica's Ruben Dias is a defender under consideration by Manchester City ahead of the summer transfer window, with Pep Guardiola making defensive reinforcements a 'priority'.

Reigning champions City are all but certain to finish 2019/20 in second after failing to keep pace with runaway leaders Liverpool.

While the Citizens boast a league-high 71 goals scored, they have only the fourth-best defensive record and have lost seven times so far this season.

Pep Guardiola
Manchester City's defence has fallen short this season | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Serious injury to Aymeric Laporte in September left Guardiola short on quality options at centre back, especially after club-captain Vincent Kompany departed last summer.

Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones have often flattered to deceive in the role, while 35-year-old Fernandinho has been used as a stand-in defender for most of the campaign.

The Evening Standard reports that Guardiola is 'regretting' City's failure to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester last summer and a new centre back to partner a fit-again Laporte is the 'priority' in the upcoming window.

The report names 23-year-old Benfica star Dias as a player City have 'watched' but don't name a price tag or the extent of the Premier League side's interest.

Ruben Dias
Ruben Dias has three goals for Benfica in 2019/20 | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

A previous target of Barcelona, Dias has a contract in Lisbon until 2024 and a buyout clause of £87m, meaning he will not be cheap.

While that figure may not seem like a serious deterrent to a club of City's means, it is worth noting the Citizens famously opted not to pay £80m for Maguire, who ended up at rivals United.

Dias is a 17-cap Portugal international who was part of the inaugural Nations League-winning side in 2019. He also won the Primeira Liga with Benfica the same year.

David Alaba
David Alaba is a nine-time Bundesliga with Bayern Munich | Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

In addition to Dias, 90min reported last month that City were interested in former Guardiola player David Alaba, who could even be used as an exchange option in a deal to finally take Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and several other clubs have also been linked with the 27-year-old Austrian, who is one of football's most versatile operators, having spent much of the 2019/20 campaign at centre back.