Mehdi Benatia has revealed that English duo Chelsea and Manchester City wanted to sign him this summer before he completed his £21 million switch to German champions Bayern Munich.
The Moroccan international held serious talks with officials at former club Roma regarding his future at the club and despite the 27-year-old stating his desire to stay in Italy, he was supposedly told that he may be sold as they needed to raise money.
Benatia eventually moved to the Allianz Arena on a five-year deal - with Roma signing Kostas Manolas from Olympiakos as a replacement - but the defender has admitted that English clubs were also interested in signing him.
City and Chelsea offers
Both City and Chelsea, who have been on the look out for defenders, were chasing the centre-back, according to the player himself.
City, who were looking for a partner for Vincent Kompany, decided in the end to go with Eliaquim Mangala from FC Porto, whilst Chelsea decided to promote Kurt Zouma into the first-team rather than buy a replacement for David Luiz.
As well as Chelsea and City, Manchester United were also reportedly interested in Benatia for a long period of time, as they were searching for replacements for Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
However, Louis Van Gaal eventually landed Marcos Rojo instead as a cheaper alternative.
As well as the Premier League giants, Benatia has revealed that Real Madrid and FC Barcelona also made approaches for his services during the Summer.
However, it was Munich that signed the Moroccan and he has revealed his delight at being in Germany, despite the weather conditions.
“I discussed my future with sporting director Walter Sabatini. He told me the club wanted to hold on to me but that there was a need to sell me to make money," Benatia said.
“That bothered me, because I wanted to stay. Manchester City and Chelsea wanted me, while there were also approaches from Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“But let it be clear, I was happy to join Bayern Munich, although here it is a bit cold.”
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