Manchester City have turned their attentions toward Manchester United target Mehdi Benatia, and are willing to pay £25million to steal him from under the noses of his other suitors, according to Italian newspaper Il Tempo.
The Moroccan international has been on United’s radar for some time, but reports claim that City have emerged as surprise contenders for his signature as they look to strengthen their defence. Benatia’s future at Roma has come under scrutiny lately as a number of top European clubs have registered their interest, and he ranked amongst the top targets rumoured to be being pursued by David Moyes before the Scot was sacked.
It’s believed now though that City are willing to pay almost €30million to convince Roma to sell the 28-year-old centre-half, and will then double his weekly wages so that he is willing to make the switch to the Premier League.
With both Manchester clubs in dyer need of purchasing top quality central defenders, it remains to be seen whether or not United will make a move of their own once they catch wind of City’s intentions. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are both now confirmed to be leaving Old Trafford this summer, and so the general consensus is that Louis van Gaal will prioritise the capture of someone who can marshal the back line once he’s officially appointed boss.