Barcelona will reportedly wage a battle with Serie A giants in the race to sign former La Masia ace Alejandro Grimaldo from Benfica.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Alejandro Grimaldo is a hot property in the market heading into the 2023 summer transfer window. Barcelona and Juventus will likely go head to head in the race to sign the Spanish full-back, a former star in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy.

Alejandro Grimaldo started his youth career at Atletico Valbonense before joining Valencia and then Barcelona. The 27-year-old spent seven years with Barcelona, four of them as part of their fabled La Masia academy. But after failing to graduate to the first-team squad from the reserve side, he joined Benfica half a dozen years ago.

Grimaldo has enjoyed a superb stint with Benfica, establishing himself as one of the best full-backs in Europe. The Spanish defender has turned out over 250 times for the Portuguese giants, going from strength to strength in the last six and a half seasons. But Grimaldo has entered the final year of his contract with Benfica, which has alerted Barcelona and Juventus.

The interest from Barcelona stems from Jordi Alba’s regression in the last few years, with the veteran Spanish defender falling down the pecking order at the Spotify Camp Nou. Marco Alonso’s arrival from Chelsea this past summer has further been detrimental for Alba, who might soon leave Barcelona.

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But with Alejandro Balde being impressive in the early days of the 2022/23 season, Grimaldo will likely share game time at Camp Nou. But unless Alonso does not extend his spell with Barcelona beyond next summer, it is unclear how Grimaldo will fit in Xavi Hernandez’s squad. That is not true for Serie A giants Juventus.

With Alex Sandro blowing hot and cold in the last few years, Juventus will need to invest in a left-back, especially with Filip Kostic operating as a left-winger at the Allianz Stadium. While Andrea Cambiaso is one for the future, having Grimaldo in the first-team squad will bode well for the Serie A giants.

All this leaves Benfica in a spot of bother as they might lose Grimaldo as a free agent next summer unless a suitor comes up with an offer in January. It will be interesting to see how this story progresses, with Barcelona and Juventus keen on signing the former La Masia ace.

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