Premier League outfit Manchester City are leading the race to sign AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, according to reports.
TalkSPORT reports how the Morocco international is grabbing a lot of intention from FIVE top European clubs after his fine performances in Serie A, but it appears that money-bags City are winning the race to sign the 27-year-old.
City are currently leading a race that involves; Chelsea, Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, all of whom are showing interest in the defender.
It's believed Roma are wanting around £16million for their star, and that will not be a problem for any of the interested parties due to their wealth and funds available.
After just winning the Premier League, City are desperate to strengthen their squad in order to retain their title, and Manuel Pellegrini believes a centre-back to partner captain Vincent Kompany is needed in order to strengthen up the back four.
Joleon Lescott is scheduled to leave the club and Martin Demichellis isn't expected to keep his first-team place for next season.
As for Chelsea, they have had a disappointing season and despite their defence being their best part, Jose Mourinho is still keen to add his own players to the squad, and Benatia is one man he is certainly interested in.
Manchester United are in desperate needs for a new centre-back after they sold Nemanja Vidic and are about to lose Rio Ferdinand due to his contract expiring, so they will be desperate to beat City in the race for the Moroccan.
As for the two other clubs, they are both keen on adding centre-back options, with Barcelona looking to replace Carles Puyol, and Pep Guardiola looking to add a commanding figure to his back-line in Munich.
Roma signed Benatia last summer from Serie A rivals Udinese for a fee around £11million, but after a fruitful season, interest in him is already high.
The centre-back played a crucial role in Roma's second-place finish, and he was also at the heart of a side who only conceded 24 goals in 37 Serie A matches.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.