This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Portuguese publication O Jogo, Manchester United have had an offer turned down by Benfica for centre-back Ruben Dias.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that United continue to pursue a move for Leicester star Harry Maguire, but that a potential deal for the England international has been complicated due to the Foxes’ valuation of the defender.
O Jogo claim that the Red Devils turned their attentions towards Dias, but that their offer fell short of the €66m (£59.9m) release clause in his contract and was subsequently rejected.
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The report adds that Benfica are under no pressure to sell having already sold a host of other stars, including Joao Felix for big-money, and are currently in talks with Dias over raising the price of his release clause.
Going for the essentially tried-and-trusted option of Maguire certainly has its appeal. The Leicester defender has shown he is more than a capable defender at Premier League level, and has the technique and physicality to become a dominant United defender.
In Dias, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would be getting a 22-year-old who has already represented the Portugal senior side on numerous occasions, and has plenty of experience in European cup competitions with Benfica. Indeed, such has been Dias’ rise, that the defender was named as part of the UEFA Nations League Finals Team of the Tournament this summer.
Indeed, former Benfica manager Rui Vitoria previously remarked: “He’s a young lad who is making immense and significant progress. He has enormous potential and is still only 20, but he knows that sometimes the hardest part is not getting there, it’s staying there.”
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Whilst Maguire would be the safe-and-sound signing this summer for United, opting to go for Dias would land the Red Devils a young star who has the mentality and playing experience already to get to the very top.