Premier League giants Chelsea are confident that they can wrap up a deal for AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, and are hopeful of an announcement before the end of the week according to reports.
Chelsea have been interested in the 27-year-old since the close of last season, and despite Manchester United also showing serious interest in the Moroccan, the West-London club are in the lead to land the defender.
Benatia, who had an incredible season for Roma in Serie A, was a key part in their solid defence last season, and played a big part in them finishing second in the league, only behind winners Juventus.
Roma boss Rudi Garcia has been very open about Benatia's future over the summer, but he has always stood by the fact that the defender will not be sold due to his long-term contract with the Italian club, but it now appears that a breakthrough may have been made.
Despite Garcia saying that a deal near to £50 million would be the only chance of the club selling Benatia, reports in England are suggesting that a £30m deal could be in place.
Both Chelsea and United are prepared to part with £30m for the 27-year-old, with both clubs searching for new centre-backs, but it looks like it's Jose Mourinho's side that are in pole position to land Benatia.
According to the reports, Chelsea are feeling confident that they can wrap up the deal by the end of the week so that they can register him in time for the opening day of the season.
The Blues' first game takes place on Monday night as they travel to newly-promoted, Burnley, and Mourinho is reportedly confident that he can include Benatia in his match-day squad.
Chelsea had the best defence in the Premier League last season, and have strengthened it further by the addition of Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, and also the return of Thibaut Courtois in goal, but Mourinho is still eager to strengthen the back-line even further, and Benatia is the perfect choice in his opinion.
Benatia will be competing alongside Gary Cahill, John Terry and youngster, Kurt Zouma, if he does move to Stamford Bridge.
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