Newcastle United interested in Arsenal-linked player that shares same agent as Eddie Howe

The former Barcelona academy product has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League.

Newcastle United are considering a move for Alex Grimaldo after Arsenal decided against pursuing a deal for the Benfica defender.

The Spanish left-back has been a consistent presence in Roger Schmidt’s side as they have embarked on near-faultless to their domestic campaign. Saturday’s 5-0 home win against Chaves extended Benfica’s run to 11 games unbeaten as they moved six points clear of nearest rivals Sporting Braga.

The Portuguese giants have also progressed through a tough-looking Champions League group containing Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa and ended their group stage fixtures with visit to the latter on Wednesday night.

Speaking about Grimaldo’s form, Benfica boss Schmidt told Portuguese outlet Record: “Since the beginning of the season, he’s been playing at a very high level. I think he’s extraordinary. Full of class. He can defend and attack, and he’s a very reliable player, with a very good attitude. Physically, he’s strong. It’s important to have him in the team and I hope he stays at Benfica. As you know, (speculation) is part of football. It’s the players who have to make their own decisions. I asked him to stay more years at Benfica. There are decisions the player makes.”

Grimaldo’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season and there has been speculation he could depart in January or next summer. Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for his services but decided against a deal after landing Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Inter Milan, Napoli and Manchester City are also said to be monitoring the situation and there have been reports the former Spain Under-21 international would ‘relish’ the prospect of playing under Eddie Howe at St James Park.

Writer Rudy Galetti told Tribal Football: “The Magpies coach really appreciates the Spaniard and the fact that Eddie Howe and Grimaldo have the same agent could be a plus for Newcastle. The player, as already reported, has communicated to his current club that he wants to leave Portugal to start a new experience elsewhere and certainly the charm of the Premier League could satisfy him.”