Rumour: Manchester City make move for Manchester United transfer target Mehdi Benatia
Manchester City’s search for a new centre back could see them sign Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, report Goal.
The website report that City boss Manuel Pellegrini has dropped his interest in Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala and will instead turn his attentions to reported Manchester United target Benatia. They believe that the Citizens will make contact with Roma imminently, ahead of a £25 million move.
Benatia has impressed for Roma this season, but recently admitted that he could leave the club following unsuccessful talks over a new contract at the Italian side.
“I only said that anyone dreams of teams like Real, Bayern and [Manchester] City,” he said of earlier comments embracing the interest of Europe’s elite.
“My agent is doing his job, I could leave but I could also stay and finish my career in Roma. But I was disappointed [with the new wage offer], I deserved more respect.”
Benatia made 33 appearances for Roma last season, scoring five league goals. The 27-year-old also made 56 tackles, won 61% of his aerial duels and made 219 clearances.
Manchester City are in the market for a centre back to compete with Martin Demichelis and Matija Nastasic to play alongside captain Vincent Kompany.
No other Roma player made more clearances than Benatia (219) last season