Manchester United have made Roma defender Mehdi Benatia a top summer transfer target and are ready to test the Serie A giant's resolve with a €14m offer at the end of the season, according to Tuttosport.
Benatia has been hugely impressive in his first season for Roma so far this term, helping the Giallorossi emerge as surprise title contenders with a confident, composed presence in central defence.
That form has alerted long-term admirers United, who want the Moroccan international to fill the void left by departing captain Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford next season.
The 26-year-old was courted by United as far back as his Udinese days, but Roma were the only club to make a concrete offer last summer for one of Europe's most commanding defenders.
United boss David Moyes is ready to sanction a €14m bid and offer Benatia a significant pay increase in search of defensive leadership, part of a mass squad overhaul that is widely expected to take place at the defending Premier League champions this summer.
Vidic has already confirmed that he will end his eight-year association with the Red Devils in May, while Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are also out of contract at the close of the campaign.
United may be frustrated in their search for defensive reinforcements though, with Roma closing in on Champions League qualification and reluctant to sell any of their top players in a bid to become long-term Scudetto rivals to a dominant Juventus side.
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