Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho has urged the club to keep a close watch on the performances of Alex Grimaldo ahead of a potential swoop for his services at the end of the campaign.
The Spaniard, who currently plys his trade for Benfica, has emerged as United’s prime defensive target for next summer as Mourinho eyes a replacement for out-of-favour left-back Luke Shaw.
According to Record h/t Metro, the Portuguese tactician has already sent his orders to monitor the 22-year-old, who graduated from Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy.
Serie A leaders Napoli are already said to have failed with an £18m approach for the Spain Under-21 international, and it is suggested that United may have to pay a fee of around £26m to pursue Grimaldo next summer.
Mourinho has had a good association with Benfica over the years, having recruited the likes of Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof – the former with Chelsea, and this potentially gives United the edge, although they still have to match Benfica’s valuation.
Ashley Young has pretty much cemented his spot on the left side of the defence this term, and talks are already underway over a contract extension with the Englishman said to want at least two years added his current deal due to expire in June 2018.
Meanwhile, Luke Shaw remains in the periphery of the United first-team, and his future looks bleak with Mourinho reluctant to give the former Southampton man a look-in for the Premier League duties.