Man City face Newcastle competition in battle for Cucurella alternative Alex Grimaldo

Alex Grimaldo Benfica

Alex Grimaldo has been confirmed as a viable alternative target to Marc Cucurella at left-back for Manchester City, although it now seems Newcastle United want him too.

Manchester City would ideally like to sign a new left-back to round off their summer transfer activity. They have allowed Oleksandr Zinchenko to leave for Arsenal. As a result, only right-footed Joao Cancelo or centre-backs Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte could feature on the left-hand side of Pep Guardiola’s defence.

Their primary target to plug the gap has been Cucurella, after his standout season with Brighton. However, the Spaniard comes with a hefty price tag that Manchester City may decide against paying.

If they opt to focus on a different target, Grimaldo could come into focus. A few days ago, reports claimed City had been offered his services.

Now, Marca have verified that Grimaldo could be a backup plan for City if they miss out on fellow Spaniard, Cucurella.

Grimaldo’s contract situation makes him a more easily attainable target. There is only one year remaining on his deal with Benfica. As a result, the Portuguese side could sell him for a fee in the region of €20m (£16.81m) this summer.

It would be a more reasonable fee than what Brighton are holding out for when it comes to Cucurella. Besides, Grimaldo still has an effective attacking output, so is worthy of consideration in his own right.

However, City are not alone in terms of a potential interest in Grimaldo. The Spanish source also claims Newcastle are in contention to sign him, as are Barcelona and Juventus.

Newcastle have already signed a left-back this summer, by making Matt Targett’s loan move from Aston Villa a permanent transfer.

Barcelona, for their part, are looking for younger competition for Jordi Alba. Grimaldo previously came through their academy and played 92 games for their B team, without ever progressing to the first team.

Juventus, meanwhile, are in a similar predicament to Barcelona in the position. They still rely on Alex Sandro, who is now over 30 years old, as their main option there.

Man City may be one of most sensible choices for Alex Grimaldo

While it would be easy to say City would be a good choice of club to join due to their stature, their need for a player of Grimaldo’s type genuinely makes them an interesting route to consider.

Alternatively, returning to Barcelona would be an emotional, yet sensible choice for the 26-year-old if the conditions are right.

Juventus may give him a decent chance too, but fellow black-and-white-striped club Newcastle have already covered their bases with Targett.

If Grimaldo wants a Premier League transfer, then, Man City may be his best option. However, all eyes will be on whether his European suitors move as well.

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