SL Benfica are open to selling Newcastle United target Alejandro Grimaldo, according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (via Sport Witness).
Journalist Rudy Galetti tweeted on May 31 that Newcastle were one of the clubs ‘most interested’ in signing left-back Grimaldo. Juventus and Barcelona represent some heavyweight competition for the 26-year-old.
Grimaldo, under contract at the Estadio Da Luz for another 12 months, is valued at £18million by Transfermarkt.
In a potential aid to the Magpies, he shares the same agent as winger Ryan Fraser, who moved to St James’ Park in 2020.
Newcastle signed Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa in January and have the option to make that deal permanent for around £15million, but it seems Eddie Howe is considering alternative options too.
The report states that Benfica will listen to offers for Grimaldo this summer for two reasons.
First, his contract is winding down and so this may be their last opportunity to cash in. But second, he rebelled against the club when he was named in the squad for the final Primeira Liga game of the season.
Grimaldo apparently expected to be left out because he was planning to travel to his homeland, and reacted furiously, writing the word ‘joke’ on the squad list.
Grimaldo looks like a strong alternative if Newcastle decide to let Targett return to Villa.
He’s an accomplished attacker, having split his minutes almost evenly between left back and the left wing last season. Indeed, his return of six goals and nine assists catches the eye.
Grimaldo showed his class in a Champions League Round of 16 tie against Ajax in March, winning the SofaScore man of the match award after recording three tackles, six clearances and three key passes.
Where will Newcastle finish in 2022/23?
Newcastle do have to be wary, though. They need to preserve harmony in the camp, and Grimaldo’s behaviour last month does raise concern. The club will have to be thorough in securing character references.
In other news, Newcastle are interested in this PL winner.
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