Arsenal ‘identify Alex Grimaldo as an alternative to Lisandro Martinez’

Arsenal have reportedly identified Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo as a potential alternative to Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, who is also wanted by Manchester United.

Arsenal could have turned their attention to Benfica leaving behind Alexander Grimaldo if they fail to convince Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez move to the Emirates.

The Gunners were originally thought to be ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Martinez, 24, but they have already seen two offers rejected by the Amsterdam giants.

However, Erik ten HagThe team are now said to have had positive talks over a deal with the Argentina international, who has yet to decide whether he will go to the Emirates or Old Trafford.

Man United have reportedly tabled a £39.6million bid for Martinez, and Arsenal have scheduled a meeting with Ajax chiefs to discuss a deal in more detail next week, with the Eredivisie champions keen to £43m.

Should Mikel Arteta and Edu ultimately fail in their efforts to strike a deal with Martinez, Registration claims that Arsenal have named Grimaldo as an ideal alternative.

© Reuters

The report adds that Arsenal have already made contact to inquire about Grimaldo’s availability, and the Spaniard would prove to be much more affordable than the £43million-rated Martinez.

Grimaldo has just one year left on his contract with Benfica, who are reportedly ready to accept a €7m (£6m) fee for the 26-year-old to avoid losing him for free. ‘next summer.

Barcelona were heavily linked with a move for Grimaldo as xavier looking for competition Jordi Alba at left-back, but the Catalan club are now said to be closing in on signing Marcos Alonso from Chelsea.

Grimaldo plied his trade at the Barcelona academy before leaving for Benfica in January 2016, and the left-back went on to register 19 goals and 50 assists in 247 games for the Portuguese giants.

The former Spain Under-21 international – yet to be capped at senior level – enjoyed another productive 2021-22 season with Benfica, collecting six goals and nine assists in 48 appearances across all tournaments.

Nuno Tavares warming up for Arsenal in April 2022© Reuters

Grimaldo collected eight pieces of silverware during his time at the Estadio da Luz, winning three Primeira Liga titles in addition to a Portuguese Cup, a Portuguese League Cup and three Portuguese Super Cups.

Kieran Tierney is currently Arsenal’s first-choice left-back when fully fit, but the Scot’s injury problems last season saw Nuno Tavares thrust into the limelight, and it largely failed to impress.

Tavares has one goal and two assists in 28 games in all competitions has been substituted early on more than one occasion, and Arsenal are reportedly ready to sell the 22-year-old if they can add a new left-back to their ranks .

Marseille, Real Sociedad and Atalanta BC have all been credited with an interest in Tavares, who is believed to command a €40m (£34.5m) figure to leave Arsenal permanently.

The Arteta team has already hosted Marquinhos, Fabio Viera and Matt Turner at the club this summer, and confirmation of Gabriel JesusManchester City’s move is imminent.

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