In a strange turn of events it could be Tottenham Hotspur who are the ultimate cause of either Manchester United or Chelsea landing Roma star Mehdi Benatia this summer, as Roma are said to be looking to sell him if they can get Vlad Chiriches.
Both United and their Premier League rivals have seen the race for Benatia’s signature hot up in recent days, but they now know that they will be given the green light to land the 27-year-old should Roma get their way.
It’s thought the Italian giants have resigned themselves to the concept that the Moroccan star won’t be the same now that he has made it clear he wants to leave to further his career ambitions, and so will get rid of him so long as they find an adequate replacement.
That replacement, according at least to information from Italian newspaper Il Tempo, is Chiriches, who experienced indifferent fortunes during his maiden term in the Premier League.
The Romanian centre-back, who only joined Spurs last summer from Steaua Bucharest, struggled to make a lasting impact at White Hart Lane and, though Mauricio Pochettino is no doubt keen to get the best out of him, he could be let go if a decent offer comes in.
United and Chelsea to benefit
In short that means that Benatia’s suitors could benefit as a result, as Roma will allow him to leave so long as their asking price of £30million is met. The latest batch of speculation appears to confirm that Louis van Gaal would be more than willing to part with said sum so long as it guarantees him an experienced head to marshall his three-man back-line, and Chelsea’s financial records indicate Mourinho isn’t likely to be left behind.
For both clubs find themselves in need of defensive reinforcements in the wake of potentially big departures. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic will no longer be patrolling the back four at Old Trafford, meaning there is onus on Van Gaal to find a defender with real pedigree.
The Dutchman’s Stamford Bridge rival finds himself in a similar situation, having already agreed to the departure of David Luiz to Paris-Saint Germain. With John Terry fast approaching the end of his career, and Gary Cahill subsequently in need of new partner, the likes of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, and of course Benatia, have both been strongly linked with Mourinho bids.
Tottenham fans, would you be happy to see Pochettino sell Chiriches? Chelsea and United fans, would you want to see Benatia arrive at your respective clubs in the Premier League?