derson’s move to Manchester City inched closer on Thursday with Benfica announcing they had “reached an agreement” over a £35million deal.
The 23-year-old, who has yet to win a senior cap for Brazil, reportedly underwent a medical with City on Tuesday and would immediately become the game’s most expensive goalkeeper, edging Gianluigi Buffon’s switch to Juventus on current exchange rates.
Benfica posted a picture of the keeper accompanied by the words “thank you @edersonmoraes93” on their Twitter account and said in a statement to the stock exchange “it has reached an agreement with Manchester City Football Club Limited for the definitive transfer of the rights of the athlete Ederson Santana de Moraes for the amount of forty million euros”.
But City do not expect to be in a position to rubber-stamp the deal imminently.
Ederson’s deal with Benfica involves third-party ownership of his economic rights, with previous club Rio Ave thought to hold a 50 per cent stake, and that must be resolved before he formally joins City.
Football Association rules do not allow for any third party involvement, meaning Benfica must take care of business independently before tying up loose ends with City.
City had a similar experience with Gabriel Jesus’ transfer last season and are prepared to wait for a matter of days, if not weeks, for the correct paperwork to be finalised.
Ederson’s expected arrival at the Etihad Stadium essentially confirms England number one Joe Hart has no chance of a reprieve after his season-long loan at Torino, while his original replacement, Claudio Bravo, has failed to live up to expectations.
— SL Benfica EN (@slbenfica_en) June 1, 2017
City, meanwhile, have until 2020 to re-sign Enes Unal after agreeing a buy-back clause with Villarreal.
The 20-year-old Turkey international never played a competitive match for the club after arriving from Bursaspor in 2015 and he enjoyed several loan spells prior to joining the Yellow Submarine on a five-year deal on Wednesday. He scored 18 Eredivisie goals for FC Twente during the 2016-17 campaign.
But City have reserved the option to take the striker back in the next three seasons and, though the figure remains undisclosed, it is thought to be under £20million – hardly a stretch for any player considered good enough for their first-team squad.
Villarreal welcomed Unal to the club with a glowing post on their official website, writing: “The Turkish footballer is one of the most promising footballers in Europe at just 20 years of age.
“He is a strong player of great stature, but also possesses great technical ability with the ball at his feet: dribbling, change of pace, a knack for getting in behind the defence and attacking the goal.
“Strong in the air, Unal also has a powerful shot and is dangerous on set-plays, making him the complete footballer at just 20 years old.”