Manchester City sign Benfica goalkeeper Ederson


    Manchester City have completed the £34.7million signing of Benfica goalkeeper Ederson.

    The 23-year-old Brazilian has moved to the Etihad Stadium on a six-year contract to become City’s new No 1.

    The fee for Ederson breaks the British transfer record for a goalkeeper, eclipsing the £18.9m deal that brought David de Gea to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid six years ago.

    However, the €40m that City have paid Benfica technically falls short of the world record €50m transfer of Gianluigi Buffon from Parma to Juventus in 2001.

    The Ederson deal has taken longer to complete due to the third-party ownership of his economic rights. Under the deal, his old Portuguese club Rio Ave receive 30 per cent of the fee and Gestifute, the agency run by Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, pocket 20 per cent.

    Ederson said: ‘I have always had the dream to play in English football and now I’m going to make it true.

    ‘When I knew it was real, that they were really interested in me, I was very happy because it’s good to see your work recognised. Manchester City is a great club, the league they have here in England, they have amazing fans and they play splendid football.

    ‘It’s a club that has been developing a lot lately. Now with Pep Guardiola they are growing more and more. They are putting in place a young team for the future. Those were important factors in making my decision. Manchester City has an amazing squad. I think they managed to have a good season. Next season, we will have to be focused to achieve the goal of winning trophies.

    ‘I have always watched the Premier League on TV. My impression is that it is a very intense game, box-to-box. The grounds are always full and the stadiums are really nice. This is a very captivating football. The competition here motivates any player.

    ‘I’m ready, I’m always ready. Here the matches are amazing, no matter who the opponent is, the games are always very close. Most of the matches are decided by a small margin. That shows the intensity and the competitiveness of the English league. The competition is good. Everyone knows here the competition is ferocious. It’s a bit different than the Portuguese league. But I’m going to try to adapt to this league as quickly as possible.

    ‘To be a goalkeeper you must be a little bit crazy. We have the courage to put our head where the players put their feet. I have that, of course. I’m a little bit crazy too! I’m a quiet goalkeeper, I always try to transmit confidence and calm to my teammates. That helps a lot.’

    Ederson earned a reputation as a sweeper keeper in Portugal, never afraid to come out of his goal to take possession or help his defence. It was a key attribute that Pep Guardiola was looking for in his new No 1.

    ‘At my former club I also played a little bit advanced, I was involved a lot in the game,’ added Ederson.’I think that revolution in the way goalkeepers get involved in the game was very important.

    ‘I already had that skill to play outside the box. When I played for a team lower down, I didn’t have the chance to play far from the goal, I had to stay close to it.

    ‘But when I went to Benfica, I was able to improve what I knew and play advanced, getting more involved in the games, being more active. I have been developing that since.

    ‘Adapting to Portugal was very easy, it’s basically the same language, the cooking is amazing, the city is really cool. I arrived there when I was 15 years old. I already had some Brazilian teammates there, so that was very important for my settling in.

    ‘My life was made of opportunities and I knew how to take advantage of them. At Benfica wasn’t different. Unfortunately, an injury to a teammate led me to playing in a derby, a really important match for a trophy and I ended up making a great performance. From there, we made a big step towards winning the trophy.

    ‘My career in Europe started there when I was 15-years-old and that taught me a lot. Getting to Europe was important and I was able to do a good job at Benfica. And thank God, I’m here at Manchester City now.

    ‘Every player wants to win, although there is just one team who is successful. In Portugal I was able to have a good career at Benfica, I won five trophies in two years and I hope I can do the same here.’

    ‘I want to win the Premier League and the Champions League. Those are my two main goals in this shirt.’

    City are now expected to focus on the full-back position with Silva’s Monaco teammate Benjamin Mendy, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand among the targets.

    However, it is unlikely that City will revive their interest in Virgil van Dijk following Liverpool’s aborted attempt to sign the Holland defender for £60m given what they believe to be an inflated valuation and Southampton’s determination to keep him.

    Ederson’s arrival completes a remarkable rise considering that he only made his senior debut for Benfica 15 months ago. He has since emerged as one of the most promising keepers in Europe.

    City were aware of the need to bring in a new No 1 due to the problems Claudio Bravo experienced last season following his move from Barcelona.

    Bravo is now set to be second-choice behind Ederson after Willy Caballero left the Etihad Stadium at the end of his contract. Joe Hart remains on City’s books after a season on loan at Torino but will be sold before the start of the season.