Newcastle United are believed to be keen on a move for Benfica defender Alejandro Grimaldo as Toon manager Eddie Howe seeks further summer additions.
According to Marca, the Magpies have been named as one of the clubs who are interested in signing the 26-year-old in the current transfer window, with the Spaniard potentially available on a cut-price deal with just a year remaining on his existing contract.
The Portuguese club have reportedly set an asking price of around €20m (£17m) for attacking left-back, with Premier League champions Manchester City also said to be in the running should they fail to secure the signing of Brighton and Hove Albion starlet Marc Cucurella.
The Valencia native – who joined his current club in 2015 after rising through the youth ranks at Barcelona – would provide competition for current Newcastle full-back Matt Targett, with the Englishman having signed on a permanent £15m deal after a successful six-month loan stint last term.
Although Targett performed admirably during that initial temporary spell at St James’ Park last season, Eddie Howe could have found a notable upgrade in Grimaldo, with the £18m-rated man having been in fine form in recent years.
Previously dubbed “one of the best five left-backs in Europe” by former Benfica sporting director Tiago Pinto, the £27k-per-week gem enjoyed a hugely profitable 2021/22 campaign, netting five goals and providing five assists from his full-back berth in 29 Primeira Liga outings.
That haul of assists could well have been even greater as he created 13 big chances in total and delivered two key passes per game, while defensively he also proved his worth after averaging 1.7 tackles, one interception and one clearance per 90.
That talent has also seen the former Spain under-21 international likened to Brazilian icon Roberto Carlos, with Mootaz Chehade making the comparison following Grimaldo’s stunning strike in a Europa League clash in March 2019.
That mention of Carlos will set pulses racing on Tyneside, with supporters seemingly salivating at the prospect of having a player of similar quality to that of the Real Madrid legend on show at St James’ Park next season.
The now-retired World Cup winner enjoyed an illustrious career at the elite level, winning a plethora of domestic, European and international honours, while also netting arguably one of football’s finest efforts with that free-kick against France in 1997.
While the 49-year-old never graced the Premier League during his playing days, Howe could well have found a carbon copy in the immensely talented Grimaldo.