Arsenal are no longer the only Premier League side interested in Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo after the left-back was reportedly ‘offered’ to several English teams, most notably Manchester City.
Grimaldo is available for a cut-price fee this summer due to his contract running out next year. As the Spaniard has no plans to extend his deal with Benfica, clubs can sign him for just over £6million, as per the Daily Mirror.
This availability has put Arsenal on alert. The Gunners ‘intensified’ their interest earlier this month before making an offer on July 11.
Sources in Portugal claim Arsenal technical director Edu sent Benfica an opening bid worth £6.4m.
Arsenal are still waiting on Benfica’s response. But it seems the Primeira Liga outfit want to sound out interest from other sides before accepting Arsenal’s terms.
According to the i, Benfica have ‘offered’ Grimaldo to multiple Prem clubs. The most notable among them in Manchester City.
One of Pep Guardiola’s options at left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko, is leaving for Arsenal in a £30m deal. And the reigning Premier League champions are searching for a replacement.
They have begun negotiations with Brighton for Grimaldo’s compatriot Marc Cucurella. However, David Ornstein of The Athletic states City’s initial bid does not meet Brighton’s valuation.
Alex Grimaldo is a Marc Cucurella alternative
With the Seagulls demanding £50m for Cucurella, City might now turn to Grimaldo instead.
His cost, or lack of it, would make it a shrewd move for Guardiola’s side to complete. Grimaldo also came through Barcelona’s academy, so he could work well under Guardiola.
Arsenal and City now appear set to battle it out for Grimaldo’s services. This is good news for Benfica, as rival bids could see them pick up more than £6.4m for the full-back.
Of course, Arsenal are already bringing Zinchenko into their squad. But the Gunners believe he can have an impact in central midfield and do not want to limit him to left-back all the time.
And with Nuno Tavares failing to challenge Kieran Tierney for the position, capturing Grimaldo is seen as a solution.
Arsenal will have to put on a charm offensive to get the 26-year-old to sign for them over City. The Manchester outfit can offer him better wages, so Mikel Arteta will need to explain his Arsenal project in the best way possible.
It would probably make more sense for him to go to the Emirates. Tierney sometimes struggles with injuries and this would see Grimaldo gain a starting spot, ahead of Tavares.
City already have Joao Cancelo on the left side of defence and Grimaldo is unlikely to usurp the Portuguese. So although the former Spain U21 international could win more trophies with City, he should perhaps prioritise game time and move to north London with Arsenal.
Meanwhile, a journalist has spoken about how long it would take Arsenal to sign Youri Tielemans once transfer discussions with Leicester begin.