Benfica's Ederson.
splashing the cash

Man City close to signing new goalkeeper for world record fee - reports

Pep Guardiola looks set to make Benfica’s Ederson the priciest shot-stopper in history.

MANCHESTER CITY COULD make Benfica stopper Ederson the most expensive goalkeeper in history as soon as next week, according to British media reports.

City are understood to be confident they will conclude negotiations shortly after Benfica’s Taca de Portugal final against Vitoria Guimaraes on Sunday.

Reports in Portugal on Saturday morning stressed that City would have to pay upwards of €40 million (£35m) for the 23-year-old, a figure which would eclipse the £33m Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.

Benfica only own 50 per cent of the goalkeeper’s rights and are therefore holding out for as large a transfer fee as possible, as they will have to split half of the total between Rio Ave, the Brazilian’s former club, and football agency Gestifute.

Whether the eventual fee surpasses the world record or not, City believe they are buying a goalkeeper who has the potential to be one of the very best in the world and, crucially, one who fits into Pep Guardiola’s plans.

As with Bernardo Silva, who officially signed for City on Friday, the Blues have been working on a deal for Ederson in recent months and are now close to reaching an agreement with all parties long before the transfer window officially opens in July.

Jorge Mendes, who has been in Manchester to facilitate Silva’s move to City, is Ederson’s agent and owner of Gestifutre and will help resolve any lingering third-party issues.

Given Ederson’s rights are owned by a former club and Mendes’ own company, City believe they will be able to find a swift resolution.

City have acknowleged that the best players on the market will cost a premium this summer, and are willing to make Ederson the most expensive goalkeeper in history because they believe he is the right man for Guardiola’s system.

Claudio Bravo was brought in from Barcelona last summer to help embed Guardiola’s philosophy at City, and though the Chilean helped his team-mates play out from the back, he struggled in his first season. After losing his place to Willy Caballero for a time, he will now need to fight to dislodge his new rival.

Guardiola has bemoaned the current state of the transfer market, highlighting the £38m Real Madrid paid for 16-year-old Brazilian Vinicius Junior, and City are aware they will have to spend big money this summer if they are to land their priority targets.

But club insiders believe the £43m they paid for Silva will be recognised as a bargain by the end of the summer, and they are of the same opinion regarding Ederson.

City are also thought to be close to signing £35m-rated Kyle Walker from Tottenham, while Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy could follow Silva to the Etihad Stadium for a fee of around £40m.

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