Bayern Munich are set to beat Premier League giants to the signing of £30 million-rated defender Mehdi Benatia, according to the Daily Star.
Bayern Munich deal
Pep Guardiola's path to sign the 27-year-old has been cleared as front-runners Manchester City instead turned their attentions to Porto's Eliaquim Mangala instead of the Roma man.
The defending German champions have the best defence in the Bundesliga, but their Spanish coach seeks reinforcements. Chelsea's David Luiz had been an option until PSG made him the world's most expensive defender.
Benatia, who signed for Roma last year from Udinese, has now emerged as a top target for Munich, the tall Moroccan centre-back comes at a cheaper cost than Luiz as well.
The 6ft 2 man has impressed top European clubs with his calmness at the back and eye for a headed goal at set-pieces. Benatia helped Ashley Cole's new club to second in Serie A last season, although Juventus ran away with the trophy.
Premier League agony
Therefore the potential German deal for the 31-cap international will come as a hammer blow to other Premier League clubs.
City aren't desperate as they move closer to a deal to Mangala, the French international, however - many of their rivals have lost, or are losing players this summer.
Manchester United, for example, have been interested in Benatia for a long time and their need became greater when they lost Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who both decided to move on after years of successful partnership.
London duo Arsenal and Chelsea are running the risk of falling short too. Thomas Vermaelen could still be pinched by Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, while Luiz's exit leaves Gary Cahill and John Terry as the only experienced central defenders at Stamford Bridge.
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