AS Roma director Walter Sabatini has claimed that defender Mehdi Benatia’s weak foot alone is worth €30 million. Manchester United and Manchester City both are interested in Morocco international.
Central defender Mehdi Benatia was the standout performer of AS Roma last season as the capital side finished second behind Juventus in the Serie A table.
Manchester City made a bid of €30 million this week for Benatia and Sporting Director Walter Sabatini was quick to reject the said bid. City’s neighbours, Manchester United are also tracking the Moroccan international.
Walter Sabatini values Mehdi Benatia at a total of €61m.
Benatia was like a wall in the defence of Roma last season as they let in least number of goals in Serie A and understandably, many of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United, are interested in him. “Benatia is a guy with sound principles: he doesn’t want to take a step away from the Roma fans or his team-mates,” Sabatini said in a press conference.
“Personally I think €30m is the value of Benatia’s weak foot.
“If Benatia’s weak foot is worth €30m then the total price would be €61m.”
Walter Sabatini also clarified the stance of Roma over the future of the player. “Benatia is not for sale, unless someone comes to us with an offer of €61m,” he said. “With that we could improve the squad.”
“Benatia has been completely coherent, he’s never played for himself, always with and for the team.”
Benatia joined Roma from Udinese last summer as a replacement of Marquinhos and quickly made himself an undisputed starter under new coach Rudi Garcia.
Manchester City are in the market for a long term partner for captain Vincent Kompany and sees Benatia as the perfect candidate. While Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal is also looking for a successor for Nemanja Vidic and values Benatia very highly.
Meanwhile, the player himself is not happy with his current situation at Olympic stadium. Roma has offered him a new contract but Benatia does not sees it as true reflection of his quality.
This is what Benatia said earlier this week about his current situation at Roma: “Last summer, my agent advised me not to sign for Roma, because their contract offer was low compared to other offers and they didn’t play in Europe. I still signed and never had any regret. Roma had an intriguing project that I liked. The club told me they were happy with me during the season and said we’d meet for contract talks at the end of the season.
Roma told me I would get a nice contract if we were to qualify for Champions League football. But then they made me an unacceptable offer. I’ve heard claims that I was asking for €4 million per year, but they didn’t even offer €3m.”