Manuel Pellegrini is understood to be close to agreeing a deal for Roma centre back Mehdi Benatia. The Daily Mirror believe that a fee in principle has been agreed for around £30m but any transfer is reliant on Roma’s ability to find a replacement.
Rudi Garcia’s Roma had an impressive season during 2013/14, finishing second as i Lupi get set to return to the Champions League. This gives Roma a stronger negotiating position as they are under no obligation to sell so Pellegrini may have a wait on his hands to secure one of his main targets.
Benatia, who has 31 Morocco caps, was a vital member of Garcia’s squad last campaign making 30 Serie A appearances, scoring 5 times. Benatia would certainly bolster Man City’s back line which at time looked lacklustre when severely tested in the Premier League run-in.
The title holders are thought to also have interest in Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala but it is understood that the asking price was too high from the Portuguese outfit meaning City turned their attention to Benatia.
By Gareth Thomas | July 2nd, 2014