Manchester City are in danger of missing out on one of the most highly-rated young left-backs in Europe, Benfica’s Álex Grimaldo, a player repeatedly linked with a switch to the Etihad in recent months.
According to Catalan newspaper SPORT, the 21-year-old’s former club, Barcelona, are becoming increasingly attentive to his situation, with the gifted full-back expected to leave the Estádio da Luz in the near future.
Barça sold Grimaldo to Benfica for just €1.5 million in 2015 and, like Manchester United with Paul Pogba, would have to swallow their pride and pay up to 30 times that amount to take him back to the Camp Nou.
The La Masia graduate is also in the crosshairs of Juventus, with Patrice Evra nearing the end of his time there, and Alex Sandro still not guaranteed to remain at the Juventus Stadium long-term.
SPORT claims that Grimaldo has ‘received offers’ from Pep Guardiola to join City in recent months, but that a deal has not been closed, increasing the possibility of a move to Juventus or, now, Barcelona.
City do have the financial power to outbid the Spanish and Italian clubs, but Txiki Begiristain may want to speed up negotiations if City are to land one of Europe’s most exciting young left-backs.
The Blues are in dire need of some fresh blood in the full-back areas, with Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Gaël Clichy all likely to go when their deals expire in June, and Aleksandar Kolarov featuring as much in the centre of defence as at left-back this season.
Want to learn more about Grimaldo? In December, we spoke to Benfica supporter, David Pritchett, about a player he reckons would be perfect for Pep.