In a transfer saga that has taken multiple turns thus far this summer, it appears as if we are closer to knowing the future of AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia with French newspaper L’Equipe suggesting an agreement had been reached between the player and Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
In a saga that has seen both Manchester United and Manchester City weigh up respective moves for the Moroccan international with neither putting in a formal offer, it looked as if Benatia would remain in Italy’s capital city with Roma offering him a new contract. However the German champions have emerged as front runners following Javi Martinez’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, which has thrown Pep Guardiola’s plans for a three-man defensive system into chaos.
L’Equipe report that Benatia’s agent Moussa Sissoko was in Munich earlier this week where an agreement was found in terms of the player’s wages with Bayern however there is still the matter of agreeing a fee with the Giallorossi.
Earlier this summer Gianluca Di Marzio reported on Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini’s statement in a press conference addressing the future of Benatia, “The thirty million his agent suggested for me represents the value of his weakest foot. So we need at least 60, even 61 million euro. For an offer like that I wouldn’t be able to guarantee he stays.”
It appeared Benatia was off the market with no club willing to meet the club’s 61million Euro valuation of the player. However the situation has since changed.
It is my understanding that Roma would be willing to accept a fee around the region of 36million Euros. Roma supporters, whilst aware of the quality of the defender, are uneasy about the club keeping a player who is eager to leave to earn more money and the club appears to be more open to letting the player leave.
L’Equipe suggest that Bayern Munich will present Roma an offer through Sissoko on Wednesday this week with the figure rumoured to be around 30million Euros, 6million short of Roma’s asking price.
Roma will look to see that offer bumped up closer towards the 36million mark before agreeing to a transfer however with Benatia having turned down the club’s offer of a lucrative new deal, AS Roma are preparing for his departure by turning their attentions to Manchester City’s seemingly unwanted central defender, Matija Nastasic.
Nastasic would represent a high quality replacement for Benatia with previous experience of Serie A with Fiorentina. The case of Nastasic is somewhat of a mystery with Manuel Pellegrini appearing unkeen on the Serbian although the defender missed large portions of the previous campaign through injury.
Manchester City are aware of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and given the expensive signing of Eliaquim Mangala it makes little sense to keep a saleable asset if the manager does not plan to use him regularly.