Wolves’ chances of signing Benfica defender Ruben Dias in the summer transfer window have all but ended.
According to the Express & Star, Dias was keen on a move to Molineux but, with his Benfica contract including a £57million release clause, that fee exceeds Wolves’ valuation of the defender.
Therefore, an agreement between the two clubs seems highly unlikely to be reached before the Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday.
Dias broke into the Benfica first team two years ago and has been a consistent presence for them ever since, making 86 appearances in that time and scoring eight goals, a very respectable return for a centre-back.
He was the Primeira Liga’s Young Player of the Year for 2017/18 and had been a target for Manchester United, with O Jogo reporting that the Old Trafford club had a bid for the player rejected by Benfica last week.
The 6 ft 2 (1.87m) defender is also a solid presence in the air, winning 3.2 aerial duels per match. Plus, seven of his eight professional goals have come with his head, demonstrating his prowess to get on the end of set pieces.
There are some aspects to his defensive game where he could improve, though. His match averages of 1.4 tackles and 0.9 interceptions are far from exceptional, while he was booked 13 times in 55 games last season, an average of one yellow card every 4.23 games.
His passing statistics exceed those of Wolves centre-backs Conor Coady (84.3% accuracy from 44.4 passes per game), Willy Boly (81% accuracy from 47.6 passes per game) and Ryan Bennett (79.6% accuracy from 39.6 passes per game). Also, he scored three more goals alone last season than that trio combined (Boly four, Bennett one, Coady zero).
However, Boly and Bennett perform better in terms of tackles (Boly 2.4, Bennett 1.7) and interceptions (Boly two, Bennett 1.3) per game. Also, Dias’ disciplinary record compares hugely unfavourably to Boly, who was booked just three times in 41 games (one per 13.67 games), and Coady, with six yellows in 46 games (one per 7.67 games).
While Dias would likely improve Wolves’ ability to pass out from the back and pose a scoring threat from set plays, Nuno Espirito Santo already has centre-backs in Boly and Bennett who have proven to be more adept than the Benfica man for defensive contributions.
Also, with Jesus Vallejo having joined on loan from Real Madrid for the season, Wolves have plenty of options in this sector of the field without spending upwards of £57m on a player who still has room to improve defensively and has a tendency for indiscipline.
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