Arsenal ‘intensify’ Alex Grimaldo interest as bid set to be made; Benfica line up replacement

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Benfica star Alex Grimaldo Credit: PA Images
Benfica star Alex Grimaldo Credit: PA Images

Arsenal have ‘intensified’ their interest in Alex Grimaldo and could soon make a bid for the Benfica star, according to a report.

Arsenal have been chasing Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez in recent weeks. He usually plays as a centre-half but can also operate on the left side of defence. This could make him a clever signing for Arsenal as it would improve two positions at once.

Manchester United also like the look of Martinez and have just made a third bid for him, which stands at £43million.

This is close to Ajax’s asking price and could result in the Argentina international going to Old Trafford.

Arsenal will soften the blow by launching a move for Benfica’s Grimaldo, according to Sport Witness – who cite reports in Portugal.

The Gunners’ interest in Grimaldo was first revealed on Thursday. And this has ‘intensified’ since, which means an official offer is on the horizon.

Sport Witness claim Arsenal will bid just £5.9m for the Spaniard. But this falls in line with Benfica’s valuation and is likely to be accepted.

The reason for this is Grimaldo’s contract will expire next year. So Benfica need to sell in the next few months to guarantee they get a fee for him.

Alex Grimaldo would be a shrewd Arsenal signing

Grimaldo is a product of the Barcelona academy and has won three Primeira Liga titles since joining Benfica in January 2016.

He is a classy operator who could undoubtedly improve Arteta’s squad, without making the Gunners break the bank.

Benfica are prepared for Grimaldo to go and have set their sights on his replacement. The player in question is Raphael Guerreiro of Borussia Dortmund.

Like Grimaldo, his contract is up in 2023 and this opens up the possibility of a cheap transfer this summer.

Guerreiro would be a solid replacement for Grimaldo. A transfer would also see Guerreiro go back to his native Portugal.

Arsenal are set to benefit from the situation by picking up a very good defender for less than £6m.

But Benfica wouldn’t be losing out if Guerreiro immediately came in to replace him. Such a signing would still mean Benfica have a quality left-back in their side for the next campaign.

Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira will surprisingly take part in Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the US, according to the midfielder’s agent.

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