Barcelona are considering a move for Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo as an alternative back up to first choice Jordi Alba, who is in the latter stages of his career. Moreover, they need cover for the Spain international as second choice left-back Junior Firpo looks to be on the way out.

Grimaldo is a product of the La Masia Academy and departed Barcelona in December 2015 to join the Portuguese giants. He left his homeland for a fee of €1.5 million but has gone on to increase his value in the last five and a half seasons with Benfica.

According to Spanish publication AS, Ronald Koeman and his coaching staff are big admirers of the former Barcelona academy product. The full-back is currently valued at around €20 million (£17.1m) by Benfica, which the Catalan club are hoping will drop once they make their interest concrete over the course of the summer transfer window.

Grimaldo has gone on to establish himself as one of the best left-backs in the Portuguese Primeira Liga since joining Benfica. He has made 201 appearances for the Eagles, racking up 13 goals and 41 assists.

The 25-year-old was one of the main creative forces for Jorge Jesus' team during the 2020-21 campaign, which has attracted the attention of Barcelona. Koeman is keen to bring in a full-back to cover for the loss of Firpo, who is expected to leave the club this summer with clubs in England and Italy in talks to sign him.

Grimaldo is contracted to the Portuguese club until 2023, but is open to a return to his homeland this summer. The left-back's impressive showing for Benfica also saw him linked with a move to Premier League outfit Arsenal, who are in the market for a full-back to compete with current first choice Kieran Tierney.

However, any other club in pursuit of Grimaldo is likely to be disappointed with AS claiming that the defender has made former club Barcelona his first choice if he is allowed to leave Benfica this summer.

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman returns to the club he helped win the European Cup in 1992 Josep LAGO/AFP