Alex Grimaldo

Arsenal & Atletico frontrunners in race for Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo

As per a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the two clubs best positioned to secure a deal for Benfica defender Alex Grimaldo are Arsenal and Atletico Madrid.

Benfica standout

Grimaldo, an attack-minded left-back, came up through the La Masia youth ranks of Barcelona.

However, after failing to break into the first-team setup of the Blaugrana following 4 years with the club’s B-team, Grimaldo made the decision to depart Catalunya for Portuguese giants Benfica in 2016.

And the former Spanish youth international has since gone on to establish himself as one of the Eagles’ star men, with his breathless bursts up and down the left-flank having seen Grimaldo establish himself as a firm fan favourite at the Estadio da Luz.

While question marks remain over his defensive capabilites, the 23-year-old’s class in forward areas is undeniable, as showcased by the fact that Grimaldo has racked up 5 goals and 5 assists from his full-back berth to this point in the current campaign.

Arsenal & Atletico interest

And the gifted stopper’s showings in Lisbon have certainly not gone unnoticed amongst European football’s heavyweights.

The likes of Juventus, Manchester United and even Barcelona have all been named as clubs to have expressed an interest in Grimaldo’s signature in the past.

But, as per the aforementioned report from Mundo Deportivo, it is in fact Arsenal and Atletico Madrid who, at present, appear to be the most likely destinations for the Benfica star.

The Spanish outlet points to the fact that both clubs are on the lookout for reinforcements at left-back, with Grimaldo viewed as an ideal addition.

Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal is set to turn 33 before the end of the month, with Atletico stopper Filipe Luis, 33 himself, also beginning to show his years.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Nacho Monreal of Arsenal takes a throw in during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg match between Arsenal and AC Milan at Emirates Stadium on March 15, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

As such, a bidding war could be set to take place between the English and Spanish giants this summer, though it will likely require a hefty offer to convince Benfica to part ways with their star stopper.

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