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Report: Manchester City interested in former Barcelona full-back

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Pep Guardiola knows him, and he is looking at him

SL Benfica v Vitoria Setubal - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Manchester City are already planning new signigns even though the transfer window has just closed.

According to a report from Portugal newspaper "O Jogo", the Citizens have made contact with the agent of Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo, to understand the player's contract situation and perhaps enter an early negotiation phase.

The 20-year-old interests City because of Pep Guardiola, who watched Grimaldo rise through the ranks at La Masia, Barcelona's youth academy and has always liked the Spaniard's style. Guardiola left Barça before Grimaldo was old enough to be promoted to the first team, and after failing to break through into Barça's senior squad, he joined Benfica for free in January.

Grimaldo had a tough few months in Portugal, but began to earn more minutes at the end of last season before shining in preseason and kicking off the new campaign as the starting left-back for the Eagles of Lisbon. His impressive games have caught the attention of new Spanish national team manager Julen Lopetegui, and there might be a debut call-up for Grimaldo to play for Spain in the next few months.

What Guardiola loves the most about Grimaldo is his ability to play as a midfielder, and his passing is fantastic, which is natural for him coming from the Barça youth system. As we've seen in the early stages of Guardiola's stint at Man City, the full-backs are midfielders with the ball, and Grimaldo would be perfect for the role.

Since the window is closed and Grimaldo is under contract, he cannot be signed right now, but the Citizens might go after the player in January.