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Roma will demand top dollar for defender


If a club wants to woo Mehdi Benatia away from AS Roma, they’re going to have to pay a lot of money to do so. The club’s director of sport, Walter Sabatini, slapped a €61m ($83m) price tag on the defender, stating that his weaker foot is worth €30m alone, so his right must be worth at least €31m.

Benatia, who joined Roma from Udinese at the start of last season, has been the center of much discussion recently. Last week, the 27-year-old offended many giallorossi supporters when he stated that he needed to reflect upon offers from clubs “any player dreams of”. He then went on to list Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.

The Moroccan then went on to publicize his dispute with the club over his wages. Benatia insisted Roma had promised him a fat contract should the club qualify for Champions League. But what they offered wasn’t anywhere close to what the defender wanted. He’s quoted as saying, “They said to me, ‘Here, you can have this little bit more,’ treating me like a child.”

After such displays, you’d think teams would back away from the player. But Benatia’s play last season at Roma make him worth taking a risk - he is one of the primary reasons the giallorossi made a run at the title, ultimately finishing second and qualifying for Champions League.

While his dream of playing at Camp Nou may not come true, Benatia is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs. Manchester City don’t have him as their number one target, however, which means that it could be Chelsea that nips in and grabs his signature. Both clubs can certainly afford his high price tag (leaving aside concerns of Financial Fair Play, of course) but will Benatia find Chelsea enough of a dream?

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