Manchester City have discovered what they need to pay for Alex Grimaldo, with Benfica demanding €20 million for the Spanish defender
According to the Portuguese publication Record, Manchester City have discovered what they will need to fork out to land Benfica defender Alex Grimaldo this summer, with Benfica slapping a €20 million price tag on the 25-year-old Spanish defender.
Pep Guardiola’s side have lacked a dependable first-choice option at left-back and the Manchester City boss has seen several players fall short in their attempts. While Joao Cancelo and then Oleksandr Zinchenko were decent last season, it remains to be seen if either player has the Catalan manager’s undivided trust.
If City’s interests this summer is anything to go by, they are certainly in the market for a new full-back. Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Nuno Mendes was linked with a move to the Etihad earlier this summer. Benfica’s Grimaldo is another player.
The Eagles ace came through at Valencia and Barcelona before moving to Benfica in 2015. Pep Guardiola was at Barcelona when the 25-year-old made waves as the youngest player to play in the Segunda division in 2011. While he failed to make a single first-team appearance for the Catalans, Grimaldo has had better opportunities in Portugal.
Benfica are not averse to selling the player but have demanded €20 million for his services. While the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk and Lazio have baulked at the price, it is peanuts for a Manchester City side ready to break the bank on Harry Kane and Jack Grealish. The Citizens certainly seem interested and are now in negotiations with the Portuguese giants.
Primarily a left-back, Grimaldo can also be deployed forward in left-midfield or as a central midfielder. This versatility will give the tinker happy Guardiola more options come the new season. Grimaldo made 43 appearances for Benfica last season, scoring twice and making ten assists. While he has certainly out-assisted the likes of Zinchenko and Cancelo, he is a decent left-back at best.
An excellent technician on the ball, Grimaldo’s ability to make a dribble and cross accurately make him a curious addition. Add to it his prowess at direct free-kicks, and the champions could have yet another goalscoring threat in their ranks when needed.
There are, however, a number of aspects Grimaldo will need to improve on. His passing percentage from last season is similar to Mendy’s, a rather telling statistic given that he was City’s worst left-back last term. While he has racked up over thrice the number of assists as Cancelo, the Portuguese international holds the advantage in making successful passes, aerial prowess, and shots made per game. Perhaps tellingly, Grimaldo also lags behind Zinchenko on all three parameters.
While the Spaniard could potentially be an interesting addition, it remains to be seen if Guardiola can take him up a notch. While he could certainly be a utility player capable of filling several positions, it is highly debatable if he is an upgrade over who City already have. Mendes is statistically a better player than Grimaldo, but given the youngster’s age and potential, Manchester City are better off going big to land him instead.