Portuguese outlet O Jogo have reported that Manchester United are interested in signing Ederson, and have established contacts with Benfica over a move in the summer transfer window. Manchester City are also tailing the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Ederson has been a rock between the sticks for Benfica ever since he moved back to the Portuguese club from Rio Ave in 2015. Now in his second campaign with the first team, the Brazilian goalkeeper is enjoying the best season of his senior career, by far.
His numbers make for impressive reading, as Ederson has conceded at a rate of less than a goal per two games in Liga NOS, a key factor in Benfica’s bid for the league title. Expand the figures for all competitions, and the 23-year-old has let in just 26 goals in 37 appearances, keeping 22 clean sheets in the process.
As he continues to develop at a remarkable rate, Ederson is starting to attract the attention of some of the biggest names in European football. In fact, Barcelona and Real Madrid have previously expressed an interest in signing him, but Manchester City are believed to be the front-runners.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola has a serious need to sign a top quality goalkeeper in the summer, following the disastrous showings from summer signing Claudio Bravo. His deputy, Willy Caballero hasn’t inspired much confidence either, while Joe Hart is all set for a summer exit from the Etihad Stadium.
With goalkeeping being a major area for concern for the City boss this season, Ederson is being eyed to fix that problem. However, Manchester United have now set their sights on the young Brazilian, and are eager to steal a march on their neighbours in the summer transfer window.
Jose Mourinho doesn’t really have a problem in the goalkeeping department with David De Gea being one of the best shot stoppers in the world. However, the Spaniard is being heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer, which will leave Mourinho with just Sergio Romero as his recognised option.
As a result, the Manchester United boss has been trying to identify viable replacement options for De Gea in case he does leave the club at the end of the season. And if the O Jogo report is anything to go by, Ederson is that target, and the Red Devils have opened talks with Benfica over a summer deal.
And in order to secure Ederson’s services in the summer, Manchester United – or any other suitor for that matter – will have to fork out his €60 million release clause in its entirety. Benfica are eager to pocket at least €30 million for him as they have to share half the transfer fee with Ederson’s previous club Rio Ave.
The fee is unlikely to deter Manchester United, who are expected to pocket a handsome amount if they sell De Gea. It now remains to be seen how talks progress in the coming weeks, and if City can do something about their arch-rivals’ interest in Ederson.