The former Barcelona full-back has been attracting the interest of European elites ever since his move to the Portuguese club in the summer.

It does look like the case of one that got away for Barcelona with each passing day, as former La Masia graduate Alex Grimaldo continues to impress one and all with his displays for Benfica. It’s fair to say the young Spaniard has established himself as one of the best defensive prospects, catching the eye of various European giants.

It has been reported previously Manchester United and Juventus are among the clubs who have shown the most interest in signing the highly-rated left-back, but now Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t MCFCwatch) have revealed Manchester City are set to win the race for Alex Grimaldo.

The report suggests Pep Guardiola has requested the Manchester City hierarchy to make the 21-year-old defender a transfer priority, with a move in January not ruled out.

FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 14: Setubal's Midfielder Joao Amaral (L) vies Benfica's defender Alex Grimaldo (R) during the Pre Season match between SL Benfica and Vitoria Setubal at Estadio do Algarve on July 14, 2016 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

FARO, PORTUGAL – JULY 14: Setubal’s Midfielder Joao Amaral (L) vies Benfica’s defender Alex Grimaldo (R) during the Pre Season match between SL Benfica and Vitoria Setubal at Estadio do Algarve on July 14, 2016 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo courtesy – Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Alex Grimaldo has a release-clause of €60 million, but Benfica are willing to consider offers in the region of €45 million according to O Jogo.

Benfica had bought the full-back in the summer for €1.5 million and they could potentially earn 30 times the value through a sale in January, yet again outlining their transfer expertise in the transfer market. It needs to added Barcelona have a sell-on clause on the player, but decided against inserting a buy-back clause.

Benfica are said to be already in search for a replacement for Grimaldo, as they expect a January approach by Manchester City.

Left-back is one area where Manchester City desperately need some serious reinforcements, with both Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy on the wrong side of the thirties. While a fee of €45 million does seem steep for a 21 year old defender playing in his first top-flight season, Pep Guardiola is convinced of the player and the value he could add to the team; and the Catalan rarely ever gets an assessment wrong.

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