LONDON • Manchester City are close to sealing their second signing of the summer, as Pep Guardiola continues his rebuilding.
The English Premier League football club stole a march on their rivals last Friday by beating them to the signature of Bernardo Silva, the 22-year-old playmaker, who joined from Monaco in a £43 million (S$76.5 million) deal.
Now they are hopeful of concluding a transfer worth about £35 million for Ederson Moraes, the Benfica goalkeeper, before the end of the week. The 23-year-old Brazilian would compete with Claudio Bravo for the No. 1 role next season.
Willy Caballero had finished the season in goal but has been released and Englishman Joe Hart is likely to move on in the close season after returning from a season on loan at Torino.
Ederson, who has been followed by some of Europe's biggest clubs this season, admitted on Sunday that Benfica's Cup final victory over Vitoria Guimaraes was likely to be his last game for the club.
The Brazilian, who is renowned for his footballing skills, possesses one of the longest kicks in the game - he once scored from his own box in his youth career.
He fits Pep Guardiola's mould for a goalkeeper and is expected in Manchester for a medical check this week.
The reported fee Manchester City will pay for their new goalkeeper Ederson. If the deal goes through, it would be a world record for a goalkeeper, eclipsing the £32.6 million paid by Juventus to Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.
"I still don't know but this was probably my last game for Benfica," he said, after the 2-1 defeat of Vitoria which saw his club win the domestic league and Cup double.
Ederson's fee would represent a world record for a goalkeeper, eclipsing the £32.6 million paid by Juventus to Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.
City may have to overcome some complications with third-party ownership, as Ederson's former club Rio Ave still own 50 per cent of the Brazilian goalkeeper's economic rights. Benfica possess the other half.
It also means the Portuguese giants are holding out for a large transfer fee. Several outstanding displays in the Champions League this season have bolstered Ederson's reputation.
He has been called up to the Brazil squad but has not yet made his international debut, with an injury forcing him to pull out of last year's Copa America squad.
Benfica are expecting his departure, with the coach Rui Vitoria saying: "If Ederson leaves, he leaves with the gratitude of Benfica."
City have struggled for consistency between the posts with Bravo, signed from Barcelona last summer, enduring a difficult season while Caballero has left after his contract came to an end.
Ederson's arrival would also represent a blow for City's Manchester rivals United should David de Gea make his move to Real Madrid.
United manager Jose Mourinho has been linked with Ederson and if, as expected, de Gea departs for Spain in the coming months, the Portuguese will need a new No. 1 at Old Trafford, although he may decide he can begin the campaign with Sergio Romero.
United have also been linked with the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, should de Gea, formerly with Atletico, return to the Spanish capital.
THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN