Man City show ruthless side again as trio eyed to replace 2017 signing

Date published: Wednesday 7th April 2021 2:03 - Samuel Bannister

Manchester City have identified Alex Grimaldo as one of three left-back targets for the summer, according to reports.

Left-back has been a problematic position for City in recent years. Benjamin Mendy has had a number of injury issues, although has shown what he is capable of to some extent recently. Pep Guardiola has had to rely on playing the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko out of position.

Hence, as the summer transfer window approaches, strengthening the left-hand side of defence will be a priority for City.

According to Fichajes, there are three names on City’s shortlist. Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and Valencia’s Jose Gaya are the most famous names.

Alaba is out of contract at the end of the season and will be moving elsewhere on a free transfer. He has worked with Guardiola before during their time together at Bayern, and they may reunite.

Gaya, meanwhile, is another option, having spent all of his career with Valencia so far.

However, they have been joined on the list by Benfica’s Grimaldo.

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The 25-year-old is a graduate of Barcelona’s academy. He made just shy of 100 appearances for their B team before heading to Portugal in 2015.

In the years since, the former Spain under-21 international has cemented his reputation at a decent level. He has won eight trophies in his time with Benfica so far.

Grimaldo has amassed nearly 200 appearances for Benfica, including 33 this season. From 22 games in the 2020-21 Liga NOS, he has provided two goals and six assists.

With a contract expiring in 2023, the full-back could be an interesting option for other teams to pursue. He was suggested as a Tottenham target one year ago but now is apparently on City’s radar.

Guardiola is fascinated by Grimaldo’s qualities, and with the player wanting to leave Benfica this summer, has instructed City to make a move for him.

It is not yet clear how much Grimaldo would cost, but he may be the solution to a long-term issue at the Etihad Stadium.

Mendy could make way

Furthermore, the report adds that City could bid farewell to Mendy in order to make room for Grimaldo.

Mendy has only managed 68 appearances for City since joining them in 2017. With his contract also running out in 2023, time is ticking down for him to prove himself in Manchester.

But it may already be too late, with Fichajes claiming that City do not have a place in their plans for him next season. Therefore, the Frenchman could be looking for a way out.

In the event that he leaves, Grimaldo appears to be the preferred replacement.

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