Arsenal are preparing to firm up their interest in Benfica full-back Alex Grimaldo by submitting an initial bid in the not-too-distant future, according to reports. The Gunners have already welcomed three new faces to the Emirates Stadium this summer, with Marquinhos, Fabio Silva and Gabriel Jesus all having joined the club since the end of last season.
Mikel Arteta is also believed to be keen on reinforcing his defensive ranks over the coming weeks and has been credited with an interest in Grimaldo, who has scored 19 goals and registered 50 assists in 247 appearances for Benfica. Arsenal are shortly expected to lodge a formal bid for his services that could tempt Benfica into selling their man without too much hassle, according to Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias.
It is claimed that the Gunners are preparing to offer around £5.9million in exchange for Grimaldo, with Arteta set to step up his pursuit of the 26-year-old in the coming days. This figure would reportedly be enough to succeed in negotiations with Benfica, who would be more than happy to sell Grimaldo if such a bid is made for his signature.
Benfica are said to be willing to part ways with Grimaldo in order to cash in before the expiry of his contract at the end of next season. They have already identified a suitable replacement in Raphael Guerreiro, who is set to leave Borussia Dortmund before the start of next season and is believed to be high on Benfica’s defensive shortlist.
The Portuguese heavyweights are ‘expecting’ Arsenal to submit a formal offer for Grimaldo within the next seven days, which suggests that a move could be engineered well before the new Premier League campaign gets underway in early August. He is reportedly seen by the Gunners as a suitable back-up option to Kieran Tierney and would likely get plenty of minutes in north London due to the club’s upcoming involvement in the Europa League.
Arteta was forced to use players out of position after Tierney was injured towards the end of last season, leaving the Spaniard desperate to sign at least one new defender over the course of this summer. Arsenal have also been heavily linked with a move for Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, but it seems as though Manchester United are leading the race to land the 24-year-old as things stand.
Arsenal have reportedly been keeping tabs on Grimaldo for a number of years after he caught their eye with his impressive performances for Benfica back in 2019. Those in command took steps to explore the possibility of launching a move for his services, but the player eventually opted to stay in Portugal despite interest from the Gunners, Manchester City and Inter Milan.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will act on their desire to land Grimaldo this time around if Arteta green-lights an initial offer at some point over the next few days. They were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last summer and have been tipped to splash plenty of cash before the start of next season as they prepare to mount a renewed top-four bid over the course of the new campaign.
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