Premier League • England

Defender exit on cards, as Arsenal make offer for Grimaldo with Benfica man in England

Alex Grimaldo Benfica July 2022

Arsenal are in negotiations with Benfica after making a £6.4m offer for left-back Alex Grimaldo, claim reports.

The 26-year-old left-back has been on the radar of Mikel Arteta for some time. And after missing out on Aaron Hickey the Gunners have made their move for Spaniard Grimaldo.

Hickey sealed a £17m move to Brentford over the weekend, leaving Arsenal to look elsewhere for cover at left-back.

And according to A Bola, Arsenal have upped the ante and made an official bid for the defender.

Edu has offered £6.4m (€7m) for the La Masia graduate and is awaiting news from the Portuguese club.

Grimaldo looks like a player with a bargain price tag. His contract will expire next season and the player is hunting for a club at a higher level. 

He has won three Primeira Liga titles since joining Benfica in January 2016. But nothing since 2019 has led the former Barcelona academy graduate to to the exit door.

Grimaldo would certainly be an upgrade on Nuno Tavares and would present Kieran Tierney with real competition at left-back. The Valencia-born defender has provided 19 goals and 50 assists from 247 appearances across his Benfica career.

Tavares’ future meanwhile looks unclear after arriving from Benfica last summer. He was a Mikel Arteta signing, but he has struggled to get into the Gunners boss’ plans.

L’Equipe, via The Sun claim that Grimaldo could replace Tavares. Ligue 1 club Marseille are understood to be working on a deal to sign Tavares on loan with an option to buy.

Grimaldo to replace Tavares 

Tavares is described as a ‘priority transfer target’ for OM with Igor Tudor looking for wing-backs to suit his system.

Arteta is looking for competition for Tierney and allayed any fears the Scotland star had picked up an injury against Nurnberg on Friday.

Tierney missed a lot of last season after undergoing a knee operation and lasted just 30 minutes in the friendly, but Arteta said his withdrawal was planned.

“He’s really good,” said Arteta. “He’s been training really good.

“Obviously he’s been out for over three months now so we wanted to give him a proper warm-up, play the first half an hour and then get him out. So he was in good condition and there’s no issues there.”

Arsenal may want to take advantage of the fact that Grimaldo and Benfica are in England on a pre-season training camp.

Grimaldo started the 2-0 friendly win over Reading at St George’s Park.

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