AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is set to fly to England in order to hold talks with Louis van Gaal's Manchester United, rejecting interest from Chelsea in the process, according to Sky Sports.
The Moroccan international will fly to Manchester in order to hold initial talks with the Premier League club ahead of a potential £30 million move, which has been speculated all summer.
Benatia to United
The centre-back, who had a superb campaign in Italy last season, has been wanted by United for months now, but they have recently faced competition from rivals Chelsea, who are also keen to add an experienced centre-back to their squad, despite having Gary Cahill, John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.
United are desperate to sign centre-backs, after losing veterans Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, and after losing their first game of the season to Swansea City at Old Trafford, the need for reinforcements are even more clear.
A 2-1 loss for Van Gaal made him admit at full-time that signings are needed, and he has moved quickly by hotting up his interest in Benatia.
United's back three of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and youth-product Tyler Blackett were on show on Saturday, and Van Gaal is desperate to add an experienced, powerful centre-back to toughen up his defensive trio.
Talks between the two clubs are currently ongoing, but it looks like a £30 million offer would be enough for Roma to accept, despite Rudi Garcia claiming Benatia is worth at least £50 million.
With talks set to continue over the next week, Van Gaal will be hopeful that they can secure Benatia before next weekend's away trip to Guy Poyet's Sunderland, but they may still face some competition for the Moroccan.
According to reports today, German champions Bayern Munich are now considering entering the race for the 27-year-old, and may hold talks with the defender in order to hijack the potential Premier League move.