UPDATE: Arsenal continue chase for Benfica explosive full-back
EPL outfits Newcastle and Arsenal are reportedly ready to battle one another for the services of Benfica defender Alex Grimaldo in January.
The 26-year-old star has entered the final year of his deal with the Portuguese giants, who were expected to sanction a cut-price sale in the summer transfer window.
However, Grimaldo has stayed on the books at Benfica, who are at risk of losing the Spanish defender on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.
Grimaldo will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign teams from January, or alternatively, interested parties could try to strike a deal for a nominal fee over the winter.
The Gunners were linked with a move for Grimaldo in the summer before moving for Ukrainian left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, however, TuttoJuve reports that the North London giants still hold an interest in the Spaniard.
Mikel Arteta currently has Tierney and Zinchenko as his left-back options, with Tavares joining Marseille on a season-long loan, however, Grimaldo’s versatility could appeal to his compatriot.
The 26-year-old defender is capable of featuring further up the field on the left-hand side and has even deputised in central midfield – an area where the Gunners are short – on a handful of occasions.
However, should the North London giants want to win the race for Grimaldo’s signature, the report adds that they will have to fend off interest from Newcastle and Juventus in January.
Grimaldo left Barcelona’s youth setup in January 2016 to join Benfica, where he has scored 20 goals and provided 52 assists in 259 games across all tournaments.
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