Gunners ‘chase flying defender Grimaldo’

Arsenal reported to have made official bid for Benfica full-back

Thursday, 14th July — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal

BENFICA president Rui Costa has dismissed reports that Arsenal have made an official bid for flying full-back Alex ­Grimaldo.

The Gunners are rumoured to have tabled an offer in the region of £6million for the Spanish left-back after admitting defeat in their pursuit of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.

Costa, ­how­ever, shot down the speculation, insisting no bid has been received.

He said: “You [the press] have been saying that [Arsenal have made a bid]. None of this came to me. I don’t know where that came from. I’m going to talk to him now, and see if he’s OK.”

Arsenal are, however, still being heavily tipped to sign Grimaldo, 26, having prioritised finding cover for Kieran Tierney before the start of the season.

Meanwhile, in a week of yet more galloping gossip, it’s said that Juventus could be about to test Arsenal’s resolve by offering £25m for Gabriel Magalhaes.

With the added option of one of two midfielders – Adrien Rabiot or Arthur Melo – moving in the opposite direction, it could be a tempting deal for the Gunners.

The Old Lady’s cause could be further helped by the news that Arsenal are reported to be about to hand William Saliba a new long-term deal, with Mikel Arteta plotting to find a way to fit the French ­centre-back into his starting line-up.

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