Benfica star linked with Manchester City move plays up ‘good relationship’ with Guardiola

Before Benjamin Mendy became a hit on the Manchester City rumour mill and before the Alex Sandro links popped back up again, young Benfica defender Álex Grimaldo was the hotly tipped left-back to be making his way to Manchester City.

It made sense on several levels, with the 21-year-old having come from La Masia, Barcelona’s famous academy, and being quite in tune with the style of football Pep Guardiola likes to play. Rumour had it that Grimaldo was poised to move to the Etihad, until he was hit by an injury that kept him out for 150 days – 30 games in total.

Grimaldo returned in April and has been finding his form again, but the links to City have cooled, with Napoli said to be looking at him as a possible replacement for Faouzi Ghoulam – yet another left-back who has been linked with the Blues.

However, the Spain under-21 international dropped some hints when speaking to the press earlier on that he wouldn’t be against hooking up with Pep in Manchester.

Grimaldo said he is currently focused on where he is now, but when asked specifically about City’s interest and Pep, he said, “I know Pep Guardiola, I had the pleasure of meeting him at Barcelona. I have a good relationship with him.”

Whether Grimaldo remains of interest to Manchester City is unclear, with his Benfica team-mates Ederson Moraes and Nélson Semedo the ones now being linked. However, the talented full-back sounds like he wouldn’t mind a reunion with Pep Guardiola if City come calling.

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