Mehdi Benatia to open Roma contract talks

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Football News

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is set to disappoint Manchester United and Chelsea by opening talks over a new contract at Roma.

According to the Daily Express, the 27-year-old is ready to sit down with Roma officials to discuss terms on a new deal despite interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

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Contract leverage

It may be that the Moroccan international is using the interest from the likes of Chelsea and United as leverage in contract negotiations. Roma, for their part, are demanding £30m for the defender although Benatia is thought to have held talks with United and Chelsea with the pair believed to be willing to offer £25m.

The Premier League giants were the frontrunners for Benatia's signature until recent days, when reports emerged that Pep Guardiola was planning a bid to lure him to the Allianz Arena.

Javi Martinez injury

Guardiola has confirmed that he intends to strengthen in the defensive positions after Javi Martinez ruptured his ligaments in a preseason game.

The Spaniard, who plays a crucial role in Bayern Munich's team, is expected to miss the majority of the season and Guardiola wants a suitable replacement brought in as he looks to defend his Bundesliga title and compete for the Champions League.

All miss out?

But all three clubs could miss out as Benatia's first preference remains to stay in Italy if Roma can suitably reward his fine performances with a bumper new contract.

His agent, Moussa Sissokho, will hold talks in the next few days while Chelsea and Manchester United have been informed that Benatia's future will be sorted by the end of this weekend.

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