Sunday 11 December 2016

Jose Mourinho sends scouts to watch €58m rated defender after getting frustrated with left back options

Jack Austin

Published 03/10/2016 | 15:09

Football - Soccer - Napoli v Benfica - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group B - San Paolo Stadium, Naples, Italy - 28/09/2016. Napoli's Jose Callejon in action against Benfica's Alex Grimaldo. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca
Football - Soccer - Napoli v Benfica - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group B - San Paolo Stadium, Naples, Italy - 28/09/2016. Napoli's Jose Callejon in action against Benfica's Alex Grimaldo. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca

Manchester United are looking to firm up their interest in Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo after sending scouts to watch the left-back during Sunday night’s 4-0 win over Feirense.

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The 21-year-old is a former Barcelona B star and is highly-rated, with Europe’s top clubs all keeping tabs on his progress at the Estadio da Luz.

United had sent representatives to Portugal to keep tabs on Grimaldo and they would have been delighted with what they saw as the defender curled in a classy stoppage-time free-kick to cap off the comfortable win.

The only stumbling block would be the left-back’s massive £51m buy-out clause, although United believe Benfica would be open to negotiations around a potential fee, having signed the Spaniard for £1.25m from Barcelona in January.

The Spanish champions will be hoping Benfica do hold out for the full £51m though, with them set to take a percentage of any future transfer fee

The Red Devils are in the market for a new left-back after a series of unconvincing performances from Marcos Rojo, while Luke Shaw has also been the subject of criticism from manager Jose Mourinho.

The versatile Daley Blind has filled in there impressively for the last two games but Mourinho is thought to be keen to bring in someone with a bit more pace to challenge Shaw.

However, if he is to bring Grimaldo to Old Trafford he will need to beat off competition from Juventus, Valencia and Middlesbrough, who all also sent scouts to Lisbon to watch the Benfica man in action.

Pep Guardiola and his brother also both went to watch him last month having monitored his progress since he progressed through the ranks at Barcelona.

(© Independent News Service)

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