English Premier League club Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is interested in Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo. This was evident when the Spaniard visited Benfica’s match with Braga on Monday to scout the player.
Guardiola visited Portugal with his brother Piere to witness the top fight match of the country’s football league. The former Bayern Munich manager is well aware of the player’s abilities as Grimaldo is a product of the famous youth system of Barcelona. However, the 21-year-old failed to promote himself to the first-team of the club, despite featuring regularly for the Barcelona B Team, as reported by Manchester Evening News.
PT press widely reporting Pep Guardiola's trip to Lisbon Monday to see Benfica-Braga. ManCity coach said to be scouting Benfica LB Grimaldo. pic.twitter.com/pPyUBKKxNm
— Tom Kundert (@PortuGoal1) September 21, 2016
The man from Valencia, Spain had an excellent reputation as he captained the Barcelona B team on many instances. He was also touted to be one of the next big things at the club, but was unable to progress further.
However, his decision to jump the ship to Benfica aided in his development. The player has settled in well at his new club and that has been evident with his performances at the Estadio da Luz.
Plenty of players have come out of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy to pursue first-team opportunities elsewhere. They have then gone on to establish themselves at the pinnacle of the game. Grimaldo could very well do that as he has the character required to excel at the game’s top level.
Benfica paid Barcelona fee of €1.5m, release clause is €60m (!!). Already the left back is Benfica's only ever-present so far this season.
— Simon Curtis (@bifana_bifana) September 21, 2016
Guardiola might be interested in signing the player, but it won’t be an easy prospect for Manchester City. The player has a release clause of $66.20 million in his contract. Barcelona are also entitled to a percentage of the transfer fee for the player, as reported by Sport Witness.
Grimaldo to Manchester City will be an interesting prospect as he will be an instant upgrade over Gael Clichy or Aleksandar Kolarov. However, the Spain youth international could consider staying back at Benfica to continue his brilliant development.
The player needs a lot of game time to progress and the Portuguese giants could offer him that at the moment. But, should a chance to sign for a bigger club come in the future, the player could easily opt for that option.
Photo courtesy: Catherine Kõrtsmik/Wikipedia.org