Manchester City are in pole position to complete the signing of £45-million-rated Benfica keeper Ederson Moraes.
According to Mark Crellin of Sky Sports, Benfica number one Ederson Moraes is on his way to Manchester City with the two clubs in talks for what is expected to be the highest ever fee paid for a goalkeeper in the history of the game.
The Portuguese side want a sum in the region of £45 million if they are to part ways with the player. This is a significant increase on the previous record fee for a goalkeeper when Juventus signed Gianluigi Buffon from Parma for £32.4 million in 2001.
Ederson, who had been strongly linked with City’s local rivals Manchester United had already initiated talks with the Red Devils at the start of this month, but with David de Gea likely to stay on in the summer, they walked away from the negotiations.
The Spanish number one was considering a move to Real Madrid. However, after United have secured Champions League football for next season after their triumph in the Europa League, which may be enough to keep hold of De Gea.
This has left the pathway clear for Manchester City to complete the signing of Ederson. The Brazilian keeper is not likely to agree to a backup role, and would have had a hard time to break into the United first team.
However, the scenario at the Etihad Stadium is a lot more complicated than it is on the other side of Manchester. Despite finishing higher than their city rivals in the league this past season, manager Pep Guardiola had a number of goalkeeping issues to deal with.
Due to his philosophy of playing out from the back, he needed a viable ball-playing goalkeeper to fit the bill, and Joe Hart was unfortunately not the ideal candidate for Pep’s system. So the former Barcelona and Bayern boss loaned out the England number one to Torino.
To replace Hart, Pep roped in Barcelona’s veteran goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, which many thought was a good piece of business by the Spaniard. However, Bravo has struggled to make the number one role his own and has been rotated with Willy Caballero.
The Argentine was deemed surplus to requirements at the club, leaving only Bravo as a first-team goalkeeper at the stadium, with Hart expected to leave on a permanent basis.
Now, due to the potentially imminent arrival of a promising goalkeeper of Ederson’s calibre, the goalkeeping issues may well be over for Pep. The 23-year-old has shown tremendous promise during his time at Benfica, and could be the City goalkeeper for the next decade.
After Benfica’s 2-1 win over Vitoria Guimaraes in the Portuguese Cup final, the Brazilian admitted that he may have represented the Primeira Liga outfit for the final time, playing up the links to Manchester City.