Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of Benfica star Alejandro Grimaldo on a free transfer, penning a deal until June 2027 – amid links with Leeds United in recent weeks, with his Benfica deal due to expire.

Grimaldo, 27, is set to end a seven-year stint with Benfica after joining the club in January 2016. It has seen him earn the reputation as one of the best left-sided defenders outside of Europe’s top-five leagues, clocking up 301 outings.

He has since scored 26 goals, creating 65. This season alone, he has had a hand in 22 goals in 52 games – scoring seven and laying on 15 assists. Available on a free, he has been strongly linked with a number of European clubs.

Italian outlet JMania reported in March that Leeds were among a number of clubs looking at him. But, Leverkusen have taken to Twitter on Monday morning to announce the addition of the left-back, signing a four-year contract.

Of course, with Leeds in the position we are in as things stand, signing a player like Grimaldo was always going to be seen as somewhat ambitious. Plans may have changed too, with Victor Orta exiting the club after six years at Leeds.

But even if Leeds did stay up and had Premier League football to look forward to next season, signing Grimaldo was still unlikely. He is a player that has shown over the years he can play at Champions League level – Europe, at least.

Leeds do need a left-back and Junior Firpo proved as much on Saturday. His performance was borderline reckless. So, while the need for a new left-sided defender remains regardless of survival or relegation, it will not be Girmaldo.

Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images

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