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Man City join race for Man Utd transfer target Ruben Dias

Manchester City are considering a January bid for Benfica defender Ruben Dias to solve their defensive problems.

City’s title defence has been hampered by bad defending this term after shock defeats to Norwich and Wolves to trail leaders Liverpool by eight points.

They have been punished at the back for not replacing Vincent Kompany and are rueing a long-term injury to stopper Aymeric Laporte, who is out until the New Year with a cruciate ligament injury.

England defender John Stones has also been sidelined by injury but is expected back later this month.

Dias is also wanted by Manchester United (Image: REUTERS)

In their absence midfielder Fernandinho has even had to fill in alongside defender Nicolas Otamendi,31, who has made mistakes.

It has left the Etihad club considering bringing in reinforcements when the transfer window opens.

Sources in Portugal have told Mirror Sport of interest from City in Dias, aged 22.

The right-footed Benfica youth product is 6ft1in and has 13 full international caps with Portugal.

He is under contract until 2024 at the Estádio da Luz, where he has made 78 appearances.

Dias has caught the eye this season (Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)

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His deal includes a release clause worth £59million but Benfica are trying to improve his terms to raise his buy-out terms to £79m.

City baulked at paying a world-record £80m for defender Harry Maguire in the summer when he went to Manchester United instead from Leicester .

Now City will have to move fast to get Dias before his price rises to a similar sum amid interest from Juventus and Atletico Madrid , plus Lyon who have tried to sign Dias in the past.

Manchester United have also been linked with the player who is represented by Jorge Mendes but the Red Devils are thought to be keener on a long-term target Kalidou Koulibaly,28, of Napoli.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/613210655537900