Now or never for Leeds Utd after attacking phenom enters talks with two Prem rivals over unmissable free agent coup

Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo Credit: Alamy
Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo Credit: Alamy

Nottingham Forest and Fulham are in talks over bringing a Benfica standout to England, with the onus now on Leeds Utd to act on their interest too, per reports.

The Portuguese top flight has proven a fertile hunting ground for England’s big hitters of late. Man Utd plucked Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, while Man City landed arguably their best centre-half in Ruben Dias from Benfica.

Liverpool made it a double when adding Darwin Nunez to a front line that already contained Luis Diaz. Nunez was signed from Benfica, while Diaz came from FC Porto.

Now, according to the Athletic, Benfica are on the cusp of losing yet another standout player to the Premier League, though this time to a team slightly further down the table.

The Athletic report left-back Alex Grimaldo will leave as a free agent at season’s end after deciding against renewing his contract with Benfica.

The 27-year-old has cultivated a reputation as being an attacking force from left-back. Indeed, he’s remarkably notched five goals and 13 assists from the position this term.

Five of those 18 goal contributions have come in the comparatively more difficult Champions League. Clearly, Grimaldo is a player capable of making tangible impacts at the highest level.

LeedsLive report Leeds Utd hold a long-standing interest in Grimaldo who was recently included in Spain’s provisional squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Scotland. Football Insider reported on Leeds’ interest last month.

However, the Athletic report the Whites have thus far been beaten to the punch by Nottingham Forest and Fulham.

Grimaldo Premier League-bound?

That pair have both held talks with Grimaldo who can sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs at any time.

Ligue 1 side Nice cannot be discounted too and have reportedly lodged an ‘appealing financial offer’. However, the lure of playing in the Premier League is ‘attractive’ to Grimaldo, per the report.

As such, the onus is now on Leeds Utd to act on their interest for a player who’d remedy a problem position.

The west Yorkshire outfit have utilised Junior Firpo and Pascal Struijk at left-back over the last season and a half. However, neither have truly done enough to stake a claim to the shirt.

The Whites landed Max Wober in the January window, though the left-sided defender has primarily been deployed at centre-back so far.

From further afield, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are all showing interest in Grimaldo.

READ MORE: Juventus dangle star man carrot for Leeds so they can snatch exciting talent from their grasp

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