Rui Costa dismisses rumours that Benfica star will move Arsenal this summer

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Alex Grimaldo looks unhappy

Benfica president Rui Costa has dismissed speculation that Arsenal have made an offer for left-back Alex Grimaldo this summer.

A report claimed earlier this week that the Gunners had offered £5.9m for the former Spain under-21 international with Arsenal seeing him as a possible replacement for Nuno Tavares.

First-choice left-back Kieran Tierney has struggled with injuries since arriving at the Emirates Stadium with the Scotland international making just 22 Premier League starts last campaign.

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His replacement, Tavares, was criticised on a number of occasions for poor performances when filling in for Tierney and there are reports that Arsenal are looking to loan the Portuguese defender out.

That means the Gunners will need to bring in another left-back to cover and Grimaldo has been rumoured to be the man. However, former Portugal international Rui Costa claims that club have received no offers.

On Grimaldo, he said: “I’m going to talk to him now, see if he’s okay. Grimaldo is like all the other players, he is working.”

When asked specifically about interest from Arsenal, Rui Costa added: “You [the press] have been saying that. None of this came to me. I don’t know where that came from.”

Marseille has been the main club linked with a loan move for Tavares this summer with French newspaper L’Equipe recently insisting that the left-back is their ‘priority transfer target’.

And former Premier League striker Noel Whelan insists that Tavares could still have a long-term future at the north London club if he can impress out on loan.

“Everyone always has an opportunity to come back if they’re loaned out,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“He’s got to show character now and put the performances in to really catch Arteta’s eye. He’s got to go out and prove a point. It doesn’t surprise me. He’s had good games, but he’s also had terrible games.

“It’s that inconsistency which has probably forced Arteta’s hand and led him to decide to loan him out. If he can have a consistent season elsewhere then he could still be a beneficial asset for Arsenal in the long-term.”