Pep Guardiola eyes £38.5m solution to Manchester City’s defensive problem

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly lining up a move for Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo to further strengthen his squad.

City have the third best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season, but with the likes of Gael Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov and Pablo Zabaleta not getting any younger, Guardiola may well be looking to strengthen in the full-back positions for the long-term future.

According to The Sun, that could start with Grimaldo, with the 21-year-old certainly already on the Spanish tactician’s radar after working his way up the ladder at Barcelona.

With two goals and four assists in 13 appearances so far this season since making the move to Portugal this past summer, the talented full back has proven his quality and that in turn may come back to haunt Barca over their decision to let him go.

Nevertheless, their loss could turn out to be Guardiola’s gain as there is certainly enough to suggest that the Benfica ace would fit in instantly with the City boss’s philosophy and system given their background with the Catalan giants.

It was claimed earlier this week by O Jogo that it would take a bid of £38.5m to prise him away from Benfica, despite the fact that he has a £51m release clause in his contract.

However, it’s added by The Sun that City are not willing to meet those demands, and so in turn Guardiola may well be forced to look elsewhere if Benfica are unwilling to negotiate and consider offers.

Given his start to life in Manchester, further additions to Guardiola’s squad in January and at the end of the season will only further establish City as a force to be reckoned with and Grimaldo would be an important addition.

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