Manchester City are again linked with highly-rated Benfica left-back Álex Grimaldo after previous reports of a strong interest in the 21-year-old.
And according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Pep Guardiola has requested the former Barcelona youngster as one of the club’s next signings, with a January move quite possible.
Like most top Portuguese clubs, Benfica can be tough negotiators, but the report states that they are willing to do business for less than Grimaldo’s €60 million (£51.3 million) release clause. The reigning Primeira Liga champions are open to discussing a sale for a fee in the region of €45 million (£38.5 million), dependent on the payment methods.
Benfica paid just €1.5 million (£1.3 million) for Grimaldo in 2015, and while Barcelona has the right to a percentage of a future sale, they declined to include a buy-back clause and may regret that now with Manchester City ready to pounce. As they often have before, Benfica are in line to make a huge profit on a talent they acquired on the cheap and developed to a higher level.
O Jogo claims that Guardiola is looking for recruits primarily under the age of 25 now, and €45 million on Grimaldo could be seen as a wise long-term investment, with the full-back roles in need of an overhaul.
Benfica are already said to be looking at replacements for Grimaldo should City, as the newspaper seems to expect, make a January approach.