Pep Guardiola will need to break the bank during the January transfer window if he wants to bring Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo to Manchester City. O Jogo claims the Portuguese outfit will demand around €45m (£38.6m, $48m) for the Spanish starlet, despite having only signed him from Barcelona last year for €1.5m.

Guardiola is said to be an admirer of Grimaldo, having followed the progress of the Spain U21 international during his tenure at the Nou Camp. The full-back was, at the time, considered a long-term replacement for Jordi Alba, having established himself in Barcelona's B-team aged just 17.

But having failed to break into the first team, the Spaniard moved to Benfica in last January's transfer window.

Barcelona pocketed just €1.5m for his signature, but retained the right to a share of any future sale.

The La Liga giants confirmed at the time: "FC Barcelona and SL Benfica have reached an agreement for the transfer of Alejandro Grimaldo for €1.5m. Barça also retain the right to a share of any future sale by the Portuguese club of the player who was until now the captain of Gerard López's Barça B team."

It looks as though that move may come sooner rather than later, with Guardiola reportedly identifying him as a priority for the January mercato.

Speculation began in September when Diario Record and A Bola both reported that the City boss had travelled to Portugal to watch Grimaldo in action during a game against Braga.

O Jogo now backs up those claims, adding that Guardiola would like to lure the player to the Etihad Stadium in the coming transfer window as both Aleksandar Kolarov and Gaël Clichy are the wrong side of 30.

The Portuguese publication reports that Benfica are ready to play ball should a significant offer arrive. However, with his release clause set at €60m, the report claims that they would accept nothing less than €45m to cash-in on the youngster.

The former Barcelona starlet has showcased his talent during an impressive start to the season with Benfica, scoring two goals and providing 4 assists in 13 appearances.