AS Roma tell clubs to pay £50m to sign Mehdi Benatia

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AS Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has told interested parties that they will have to bid £50m if they want to sign Mehdi Benatia this summer.

The centre-back has been at the height on transfer talk these past few weeks as a host of elite Premier League clubs consider a move.

The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have all been accredited with an interest while Manchester City were reportedly preparing to open the bidding at £25m.

However, Sabatini says such an offer would be laughable and that the Serie A outfit would only start to consider bids of double that amount.

"Benatia is a guy with sound principles - he didn't want to take a step away from Roma fans or his team-mates,” Sabatini is quoted in the Daily Star.

“He has been completely coherent, he's never played for himself, always with and for the team.

“Personally I think £25m is the value of Benatia's weak foot. If Benatia's weak foot is worth £25m then the total price would be £50m.

“Benatia is not for sale, unless someone comes to us with an offer of £50m.”

Such a price tag would be difficult for Manuel Pellegrini to part with, not because he has a lack of funds but because Manchester City are struggling to fall in line with FFP regulations.

They've already had to cool their interest in Eliaquim Mangala for such a reason and a similar situation appears to be emerging with regards to the Moroccan international.

After City, Chelsea seem to be the most interested party and were reportedly ready to offer cash plus Romelu Lukaku in exchange for Benatia.

With Kurt Zouma set for another season on loan and John Terry reaching the twilight of his career, Mourinho is on the lookout for a world-class defender to replace him.

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