Chelsea have made a formal bid of around £30m to sign Roma’s highly rated defender Mehdi Benatia, according to reports from Italy.
Italian major newspaper Corriere dello Sport reports today that the Blues have offered €37.5m that roughly equates to £30m for Benatia. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is in a hurry to wrap up the deal for the Moroccan, who is also thought to be a reported target of Manchester United.
Only couple of days back, Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Chelsea had made an official enquiry to sign Benatia. The Londoners had contacted the officials of Roma where they were led to believe that any offer in region of €38m would be enough to persuade the Italian giants to enter into any negotiations.
Benatia had earlier expressed his desire to leave Roma this summer while Italian media reported back in June that the defender personally prefers a move to London.
Roma’s Director of Football Walter Sabatini claimed earlier that the club will try his best to hold on to Benatia. He said couple of months ago:
“He is not for sale. I believe that Mehdi has been influenced by his agent (Moussa) Sissoko. He speaks of (a price of) €30m (£24.4m), so we need at least 60, maybe even 61. Anyone who wants Benatia will have to pay €61m (£49.6m).”
However, with transfer deadline day around the corner, Roma officials feel that the time is ripe to cash in on the defender and make necessary reinforcement on the team. Benatia is arguably one of the finest defenders in the Serie A and could be seen as a long term of replacement of John Terry at Chelsea, should the deal go through.