Manchester City have reportedly started discussions with Portuguese giants SL Benfica for the signing of left-back Alex Grimaldo this summer.

According to Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida on Twitter, Manchester City and SL Benfica have opened talks over the potential transfer of defender Alex Grimaldo in the ongoing window.

A product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy, Grimaldo left the Catalan giants in January 2016 in search of regular first-team football and has since been with Benfica. To date, the 25-year-old has racked up 201 appearances for the Portuguese giants, scoring 13 goals and setting up 41 more, winning three Primeira Liga titles along with other honours.

Grimaldo has two years left on his contract with Benfica but could be on his way out of the club this summer. The 25-year-old had been linked with a return to Barcelona, but that trail has gone completely cold. However, England could turn out to be the left-back’s next destination, with Manchester City registering their interest in securing his services.

The reigning Premier League champions are looking to improve their star-studded squad even more as they look to achieve the holy grail that is the UEFA Champions League. A move for Tottenham Hotspur superstar Harry Kane is in the works to replace Sergio Aguero, while Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is also closing in a move to the Etihad.

Grimaldo attracting interest from Manchester City (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Grimaldo attracting interest from Manchester City (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

However, Pep Guardiola might not stop at just that, as eyes reinforcements at left-back as well. Despite his early promise, Benjamin Mendy has become an unreliable commodity owing to his perennial fitness problems. Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko are options at the manager’s disposal but are not natural left-backs and can be caught out defensively, as was visible in the UCL final in the case of the latter.

To that end, Manchester City have been linked heavily with a move for Portuguese wonderkid Nuno Mendes. But given the finances likely to be involved in any deal for the youngster, the Cityzens could be viewing Grimaldo as a more feasible option. And they have already opened talks with Benfica over a move for the Spaniard.

Almeida also adds that the Portuguese outfit value their defender at around €30 million, which is quite reasonable for a player with vast experience of top-level football with his best years still in front of him. It now remains to be seen if Manchester City are able to close the deal for the former Barcelona defender or look at other options.

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