Manchester United could lose out on the chance to sign Roma star Mehdi Benatia this summer, as his club are preparing to offer him a lucrative pay rise to reject suitors.
Reports in Italy, namely from TuttoMercato, claim that the Serie A giants are keen to reprise the talents of Benatia, despite the fact that interest is growing from both United and Spanish champions Barcelona. The 26-year-old only joined Roma in 2013, but has impressed greatly during his debut season with the club.
TuttoMercato states that Benatia, who plays primarily as a centre-back, will be offered a healthy increase in his salary in order to convince him to pledge his future to the Stadio Olimpico, and reject approaches from abroad.
Neither United or Barcelona are likely to give up in their pursuit of Benatia, as both clubs have a pressing need for a new central defender as of the summer. The respective departures of Nemanja Vidic & Carles Puyol will weaken both side’s, and so Roma may find themselves facing an uphill battle to keep their star at the club.
United in particular will want to test the Italian outfit's resolve, as only last month was it reported that they deem Benatia to be a priority summer acquisition.