Arsenal, Man City eye £18m Spaniard as club give encouragement over January deal

Date published: Thursday 15th September 2022 10:46 - Jason Soutar

Reported Arsenal and Man City target Alex Grimaldo during a match

Manchester City and Arsenal may be set to battle it out to sign Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo in the January transfer window, according to reports.

The Spaniard is out of contract in 2023, so the Portuguese club are reportedly open to a sale in the winter window.

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He joined Benfica from Barcelona for less than £2million in 2016 and has made 261 appearances for the Eagles.

Grimaldo never laced up for the Barcelona first team but racked up 92 appearances for their B team.

The 26-year-old has won three Portuguese league titles and one Portuguese Cup in six-and-a-half years with Benfica.

He is yet to earn a cap for Spain, but Grimaldo is attracting plenty of interest across Europe.

City, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Juventus have been linked with the defender for a while now.

A report from on Wednesday said Benfica are willing to offload Grimaldo in January to avoid losing him on a free transfer six months later.

Juventus see the left-back as an ‘accessible goal’ in the winter transfer window given his contract situation.

It is believed he will cost around £6m despite being worth £18m, according to Transfermarkt anyway.

Grimaldo played the full 90 minutes against the Old Lady on Wednesday evening in the Champions League as Benfica came out with a 2-1 victory in Turin.

The report adds that Arsenal, City, Inter Milan and Barcelona are all keeping tabs on Grimaldo’s situation after ‘gathering information on his situation in recent months’.

It is believed the player would be open to joining Juve and is seen as the perfect replacement for Alex Sandro.

Grimaldo ‘is waiting’ for the Italian club’s approach.

Arsenal and City’s reported interest in the 26-year-old is a bit surprising; especially when it comes to Mikel Arteta’s side.

Both Premier League clubs signed a new left-back in the summer.

Oleksandr Zinchenko left the Citizens to join the Gunners for a reported £30m plus £2m in add-ons.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola replaced the Ukrainian with Grimaldo’s compatriot Sergio Gomez.

Arsenal have Kieran Tierney and Zinchenko competing for a starting berth under Arteta, while Nuno Tavares – who joined from Benfica last year – is currently out on loan at Marseille.

Joao Cancelo is very settled in left-back for City and is unlikely to be pushed to the bench by Grimaldo should he join the Premier League champions.

The only logic behind this signing is so they could loan out Gomez so he can continue his development as opposed to warming the bench and appearing in the odd cup fixture for City.

Perhaps both clubs see Grimaldo as a great opportunity given his asking price. You can’t beat a good bargain.

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