Man Utd scouts make second trip to Portugal in a month with left-back in focus

Date published: Wednesday 22nd September 2021 10:39 - Matthew Briggs

Alex Grimaldo Benfica August 2021

Manchester United scouts were dispatched to Portugal on Monday night to check on a target or targets, according to a report.

United have had plenty of success in picking up players from Portugal in recent seasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes and Anderson all arrived from the country. While rivals Manchester City have also plucked quality players from the Iberian Peninsula. 

Ruben Dias, Ederson and Eliaquim Mangala have all landed at The Etihad in recent times.

United often send scouts to Portugal and only last month it was reported they took in Benfica’s Champions League game with PSV.

A Bola reported United had a club official watching the Eagles’ game at the Estadio da Luz. And now O Jogo are reporting that United sent some of their scouts again this week to watch the Eagles beat Boavista 3-1.

It’s unclear exactly who United have their eye on, but Darwin Nunez starred for the hosts.

The 22-year-old Uruguay forward scored twice and was the man of the match.

Journalist Andy Naylor of the Athletic claimed Nunez was a target for Brighton. The forward netted 14 goals last season after his £21.8m move from Almeria in Spain.

 

The forward though did not play for Benfica in August – the other date that United were present watching.

That may well suggest that United’s attention is elsewhere and one man it could well be is Alex Grimaldo.

The left-sided defender played in both games in which United scouts were present and he has been linked with the Premier League.

Manchester City reportedly entered the race to sign Grimaldo after both Lazio and Shakhtar Donetsk baulked at his asking price in the summer.


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Grimaldo was a Mourinho target

The 25-year-old has been with Benfica for five-and-a-half-years after joining from Barcelona in January 2016.

 

O Jogo recently reported that Lazio chief Maurizio Sarri was eager to get the versatile player on board. Roberto De Zerbi wanted him at Shakhtar also, but both clubs were not keen on the idea of forking out €20m.

Portuguese transfer expert Pedro Almeida claimed that Man City had rekindled their interest. He reported that negotiations were already under way for a possible summer transfer.

That of course never transpired and now United may well be tracking him.

United were reportedly chasing Grimaldo when Jose Mourinho was in charge.

And Mourinho continued the pursuit of the player at Tottenham. Now it looks as though United hold an interest in the player, who is out of contract in 2023.

READ MORE: Man Utd attacker open to Tottenham move with mega swap deal mooted

 

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