Major blow as Manchester United lose defender in £26m deal to Napoli — Report

According to Ojogo, Manchester United have lost out on Spanish defender Alex Grimaldo, with the 22-year-old set to join Napoli in a £26m deal. United manager Jose Mourinho reportedly had scouts watching the former Barcelona left-back, but Grimaldo’s future appears to be in the Serie A.

With Luke Shaw short of form earlier in the season, coupled with the advancing age of Ashley Young, the Red Devils were in the market for a left-back. However, Shaw’s impressed of late which could see Mourinho having second thoughts about securing a replacement.

The Scottish Sun believe United might stay content with their current defensive options, meaning they opt against signing Juventus fullback Alex Sandro and Tottenham’s Danny Rose. Grimaldo, a Spanish u21 international, has been a regular for Benfica this season, making 13 Primeira Liga appearances.

He spent the start of the campaign out with a muscle injury but has been an ever-present ever since. The Spaniard would have been a bargain at £26m, but Napoli are close to agreeing a five-year deal which all but rules the Premier League giants out of the race.

For now, having Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw as left-back options will be enough for the remainder of the campaign. Napoli have Faouzi Ghoulam injured for the long-term, with Mário Rui deputising, so they have a need for a new face to provide competition at the back.

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