Mehdi Benatia

Roma Defender Mehdi Benatia Agrees Personal Terms with Bayern Munich

Roma’s highly-rated Morrocan defender Mehdi Benatia is edging closer to a switch to the Bundesliga, with Allianz Arena his likely destination. According to reports from Italy, German champions Bayern Munich have struck an agreement with Roma to sign the center-back.

SportBild have also reported that Bayern are close to signing Benatia. The deal could be worth around €30million, though it falls short of Roma’s valuation of the player by about €5million. Pep Guardiola is thought to be interested in signing a defender after Spaniard Javi Martinez suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, which will likely rule him out of Bayern’s campaign until January. The club will move to complete the deal before the summer transfer window closes on the 1st of September.

Benatia’s potential departure is a huge dilemma for Roma, as he is an integral part of a team that is poised to mount a serious title challenge this season. However, a sufficient bid for Benatia from either Bayern or Manchester United - another team interested in the defender - would be enough to tempt Roma to cash in. Benatia played in 33 matches for Roma last season, notching up five goals in the process.

His consistency for the last couple of seasons has led to interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United. The Red Devils started their Premier League campaign last weekend on a sour note after losing 2-1 at Old Trafford to Swansea. The defeat has jolted United to be active again in the transfer market; the club was already in talks with Benatia but it looks like they are going to miss out again.

Earlier, former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen was rumored to be close to a transfer to United only for Barcelona to hijack the move, with Vermaelen said to have preferred the Catalans to Manchester United. The same scenario looks to be repeating itself as Benatia has told Roma that he prefers Bayern to Manchester United.

Apart from Benatia, Bayern are thought to be interested in buying Sami Khedira from Real Madrid with honorary President Franz Beckenbauer saying the German would be a perfect fit.

“Khedira would function well in any team. At Bayern Munich, he would function well.

“He is very good in his number six position and he could play alongside Schweinsteiger or Lahm. That would be perfect,” Beckenbauer told Bild.

Benatia would add steel and dynamism to the Bayern back line, and his addition would further secure Bayern as favorites to retain their Bundesliga crown and also push for glory in the UEFA Champions League this season.

Oderinde Olufemi

Award-winning broadcast Journalist, sportscaster, and sports producer. Arsenal fan and supporter of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.