Manchester United & Manchester City have been told that they can land Roma defender Mehdi Benatia for £32million this summer, as Roma can’t afford to offer him the increased wages he desires.
The Moroccan centre-back has been eyed by both Manchester giants for some time now, as City look to find a suitable long-term partner for captain Vincent Kompany and Louis van Gaal seeks to address the situation regarding the departure of Nemanja Vidic. And while it was initially presumed that neither club would land him due to Rudi Garcia’s insistence on keeping his best players at the Stadio Olimpico, it’s now claimed in the Express that Roma will listen to offers of £32million as they can’t add to their current wage bill.
Benatia’s demands over a lucrative new deal are said to be at the root of the problem, but it will matter very little to either United or City - both of whom will have more than enough financially to complete a deal. What remains to be seen is whether or not either Van Gaal or indeed Manuel Pellegrini would be willing to splash the aforementioned sum on bringing the 28-year-old to the Premier League.
United will be desperate to show their fans that they are taking this summer’s transfer business very seriously, having already been rebuffed in their attempts to sign a number of players. Meanwhile City, who are facing a sanction for breaching Financial Fair Play rules which sees them limited to spending just £50million this summer, may well view cheaper targets as being of more benefit.