Arsenal favourites to land 23-year-old Spanish defender

Arsenal and alongside Premie League winners Manchester City are leading the chase to sign full-back Alejandro Grimaldo.

The Benfica ace has attracted the attention of several top sides in the last 18 months, as he has continued to mature in Portuguese top flight. At 23 years old, Alex Grimaldo seems ready to move up a level this summer, and he could be heading to the English top tier.

Sport claims the Premier League duo are favourites to lure the youngster, who came through Barcelona’s youth ranks before joining in 2015.

The Spaniard was tipped for great things at Barcelona but struggled to break into the first due to a severe injury and competition at his position.

Pep Guardiola wants a replacement for injury-prone Benjamin Mendy, while the Gunners need a long-term successor to Nacho Monreal, who is closely monitored by Barcelona and the veteran’s contract expires in the summer transfer window.

Alex Grimaldo is under contract until 2021 and could be one of the first signings in the summer if Unai Emery’s side can negotiate a reasonable price.

Arsenal are expected to appoint the former Roma chief Monchi as director of football in the coming weeks, and the Spanish transfer guru is a big admirer of Alex Grimaldo.

Unai Emery will have just £50 million to spend this summer, but Monchi’s influence might be a major factor in Grimaldo arriving at the club, and if the north London club manage to qualify for the Champions League, this will boost their financial status.