Benfica left-back Álex Grimaldo has again been linked with a move to Manchester City today after reports surfaced earlier this month that City chiefs had been in contact with his agent over a deal.
Today’s reports were widespread in Portugal, with Record, A Bola and Maisfutebol all claiming not only that City want Grimaldo, who turned 21 on Tuesday, but that Pep Guardiola himself made a secret trip to watch the former La Masia student feature in Benfica’s 3-1 win over Braga on Monday.
Several of the reports claimed that Pep was accompanied by his brother, football agent Pere, who represents several young players already at City. Record states that formal talks could open soon over a January deal for Grimaldo, who has a €60 million (£51.5 million) release clause – something City would have to try and negotiate down if they did make an official approach for the Spain under-21 international.
There is one problem with this information that all of Portugal’s top sources have acquired, though: Pep Guardiola wasn’t actually in Portugal on Monday, as revealed by The Sun’s Martin Blackburn, one of the most trustworthy sources for City news. Martin states that Pep was in Manchester preparing for the upcoming game(s) against Swansea.
Guardiola wasnt in Lisbon on Monday night to watch Grimaldo – or anyone else. He was in Manchester preparing for Swansea #mcfc
— Martin Blackburn (@SunMartinB) September 21, 2016
So why is the Portuguese press adamant that Pep made the trip on Monday? It’s a good question and possibly the incorrect information was fed to the papers by the same source. It is also very possible that City did have a presence at the game, as scouts from the club are known to be very active in the region.
Or, perhaps Pep is even more of a genius than we already believe and has mastered the art of being in two places at once.