Arsenal‘s next transfer target could well be Benfica defender Alejandro Grimaldo, according to the latest reports.
As per Portuguese outlet Record [via TEAMtalk], the Gunners have made contact over a potential move for the Spaniard, with the club seemingly targeting quality cover and competition for first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney.
The report claimed that the Premier League giants have enquired about a price for the 26-year-old but have yet to present an offer, with Benfica thought to be open to the player’s departure from Lisbon.
The 5 foot 7 menace – who joined the Portuguese club from Barcelona in January 2016 – could potentially be available for as little as €20m (£17m), with the chance that he could leave for nothing next summer with just one year remaining on his existing deal.
This possible interest also comes amid doubts over the future of fellow full-back Nuno Tavares, with the 22-year-old – who only arrived at the Emirates Stadium in a £6.8m deal last summer – believed to be the subject of interest from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.
With the Gunners said to be open to offers for the Lisbon-born starlet if they can secure a replacement, the man who could well come in to fill his place is his former Benfica team-mate Grimaldo, with the former Spain under-21 international seemingly a notable upgrade.
During his seven-year stint with the Primeira Liga giants, the £18m-rated defender has chipped in with an impressive tally of 19 goals and 50 assists in 247 games in all competitions, including 15 goal contributions from the most recent campaign.
That haul saw the £27k-per-week talent supply five goals and five assists in the league, while he also provided three assists in his team’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals, eventually crashing out at the hands of Liverpool.
His impressive domestic form in particular saw the Valencia native record a strong 7.33 average match rating from SofaScore, a figure only bettered by three of his team-mates from last season.
Previously dubbed “one of the best left-backs in Europe” by Benfica sporting director Tiago Pinto, the La Masia academy product would seemingly be an astute capture for the north Londoners were he to be signed this summer, particularly given the recent injury history of the aforementioned Tierney.
The Scotland international was restricted to just 22 league appearances last term as a result of his frequent stints on the sidelines, with the 25-year-old sadly not a figure who can be relied upon to stay fit for an entire campaign.
In Grimaldo, Arsenal transfer chief Edu could well find the ideal candidate to fill the former Celtic man’s shoes when required and also provide direct competition for the Scot, with a strong understudy needed ahead of a season which will see the Gunners compete on four fronts.
Although it might not be a headline-grabbing addition, the defender’s potential arrival at the Emirates could prove to be one of Edu’s best pieces of business in his current role.