Highly regarded AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is ready to snub Manchester United in favour of Bayern Munich, after the Italian club accepted a €30 million from the German champions, reports Bild.
Earlier on Sunday it was reported that AS Roma had accepted a Manchester United bid €30 million after vice-chairman Ed Woodward travelled to the Italian capital in order to finalise a move.
However, personal terms were not agreed and less than three hours after the Mail on Sunday reported that the 27-year-old was flying into Manchester to begin negotiations, Bayern Munich also had a bid for Benatia accepted.
Indeed, the Bavarian giants have been monitoring the on-going situation with Benatia, who scored five goals in 33 Serie A appearances last season, for a considerable amount of time, as they looked set to swoop for a new defender.
However, less than a week ago manager Pep Guardiola insisted that he was happy with his squad after a spending a mere £11.4 million in the current transfer window on new recruits, thus ending any interest in the Moroccan international.
Although, less than 48 hours after making this comment, centre-back Javi Martinez suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Bayern’s 2-0 Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund, and had to be replaced by Dante with 31 minutes of the game gone.
Bayern’s worst fears were then confirmed the following day with club doctors breaking the devastating news that the Spanish international would be expecting seven months on the sidelines.
Pressure to perform
In the aftermath of this news, Guardiola, who is under an intolerable amount of pressure to guide Bayern to a hat-trick of titles called an urgent meeting with the club’s board in order to discuss a swift move for Benatia.
With both Bayern and Manchester United having respective bids for the Moroccan international accepted, it is now up to the former Udinese defender to make his mind up.
Munich over Manchester
However, the German media including national newspaper, Bild, seem confident that Benatia will opt for Bayern as he sets his sights on playing Champions League football this season, with Manchester United being unable to offer this.
It has also been reported that the German champions are keen to give the 27 year old defender, a medical as soon as possible, as they aim to get all the proposed paperwork done in time for Benatia to play a part in Bayern’s Bundesliga opener at home against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.