Leeds United could upgrade their options at left-back by bringing in a highly-rated Spanish star when his contract expires in the summer, a report has claimed.
Left-back is a problem position for Leeds at present. Their only natural option there is Junior Firpo, but the former Barcelona man has struggled for consistency since joining the club in 2021. Alternatively, they can use other players out of position, like natural centre-half Pascal Struijk.
But if Leeds are to become more consistent as a unit, they might need to bring in a new left-back in the summer to strengthen their squad.
In that regard, a report from Football Insider is linking them with Benfica full-back, Alex Grimaldo.
The Spaniard will be out of contract at the end of the season. At the age of 27, he is in his prime, which makes him an appealing target to many clubs.
Grimaldo has already been linked with several other Premier League sides – including Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle, although none of those teams are specifically named in the report – as well as Juventus. But now, Leeds could be contenders for the Barcelona academy product.
According to Football Insider, Grimaldo would be “far more effective” going forward than either Firpo or Struijk. Indeed, this season he has contributed five goals and eight assists from 37 appearances in all competitions.
In contrast, Struijk has (understandably for a more defensive player) only scored twice and assisted once from 22 appearances. Firpo has one goal and one assist from 10 games.
Whether Leeds can compete with more established suitors for Grimaldo will be interesting to see. Preserving their Premier League status will be of particular importance.
But whatever happens, they have a “concrete” interest in Grimaldo, the report claims. In turn, they could offer him his first experience of English football.
Grimaldo has earned next step – but will it be with Leeds?
After 24 goals and 58 assists across 286 Benfica appearances, he seems to have earned the opportunity. The question is whether Leeds will be able to convince him to join.
After all, Grimaldo has become accustomed to playing in UEFA competitions during his time with Benfica. Leeds are extremely unlikely to have that on offer next season, since they are in a relegation battle at present.
Grimaldo will have to weigh up his options carefully, but it seems Leeds want to be among the contenders. If they can upgrade the left-back role without having to pay a transfer fee, it would obviously be good business.
It is not yet clear what kind of wage package he would be asking for. But there should be plenty of interesting offers coming his way if Benfica fail to renew his contract.
He has played in Portugal since January 2016, so it might soon be time for a fresh challenge.