Manchester City could lose their Premier League crown if Pep Guardiola doesn’t fix the defence with a Benfica star potentially on his way to the Etihad.

Manchester City are mulling over whether or not to make a January bid for Benfica centre-half Ruben Dias, according to the Mirror, despite a hefty release clause in the Portugal international’s contract.

If there is one weakness in Pep Guardiola’s star-studded squad, it has just been exposed in a testing few weeks for the Premier League champions. With Vincent Kompany gone and both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones injured, Nicolas Otamendi has failed badly to step up to the plate.

The Argentine has made crucial errors in shock defeats to Norwich and Wolves with City slipping eight points adrift of Liverpool in the title race already.

But rather than put his faith in Eric Garcia or Taylor Harwood-Bellis, the Mirror reports that Guardiola would rather pay a substantial sum to bring Dias to England – a suggestion that will no doubt be used as a stick to beat a coach already under fire for his apparent reluctance to give Phil Foden a run of games.

The Mirror reports that Manchester City could bid for the 22-year-old in the New Year. Dias currently has a release clause of £60 million in his contract but Benfica could raise it further to £80 million, according to The Sun, which would require City to fork out a club-record fee.

Dias is a classy, ball-playing centre-back very much in the Guardiola mould and he’s a proven winner too. He lifted the Primeira Liga title with Benfica in May and was arguably the best player on the pitch as Portugal beat Holland in the inaugural Nations League final.

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