Jordi Alba has had the luxury of not facing direct competition at Barcelona for several years now. The Spaniard is the sole contender for the left-back spot at Camp Nou, and the club’s efforts to find a competitor in recent years have been in vain.
However, president Joan Laporta wishes to change that in the coming summer transfer window. A new signing at left-back is seen as a priority not only to keep Alba on his toes but also because the veteran is now on the wrong side of 30.
Several options have been on the club’s radar in recent months including Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico, Jose Gaya of Valencia, Chelsea ace Marcos Alonso and SL Benfica defender Alejandro Grimaldo.
However, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have ruled out the signing of Grimaldo. While both Gaya and Alonso are seen as viable options, the latter appeases Barcelona’s management more as he fits into the club’s economic situation the best.
A combination of economic and sporting factors now rule Grimaldo out of the race. This could include not only the high asking price of Benfica but also the poor defensive record of the former La Masia trainee, who made close to 100 appearances for Barça B.
In the Portuguese league, he averages only one interception, two tackles and a clearance per game. The 26-year-old had previously expressed his desire to return to Barcelona, but as things stand, that might not materialise this summer.
As things stand, Alonso seems the favourite to sign for the Catalans. However, Gaya has become an option after the leaked conversations of the Valencia hierarchy about it being a ‘low cost’ club. It remains to be seen as to whom the Catalans finally target come June.