Roma rule out Benatia sale

Roma's sporting director Walter Sabatini claims the club have no intention of offloading Manchester City target Mehdi Benatia.

Last Updated: 31/05/14 at 14:01 Post Comment

Mehdi Benatia: A sizeable fee would be required to secure his services

Mehdi Benatia: A sizeable fee would be required to secure his services

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Speculation continues to suggest that City have placed the Morocco international at the top of their summer wish list, with Manuel Pellegrini looking to address defensive issues at the Premier League champions.

It would take a sizeable offer to bring Benatia to England, with a long-term contract tying him to Roma.

The 27-year-old has, however, expressed his disappointment at not being offered better terms during extension talks, helping to fan the transfer flames.

Roma, though, believe that Benatia's comments have been 'influenced' by his representative and that a compromise can be reached to keep the talented centre-half in the Italian capital.

Sabatini told a press conference: "Benatia is a great footballer with a contract that expires in four years.

"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)."

While ruling out an exit for Benatia, Sabatini has revealed that long-serving Brazilian Rodrigo Taddei is to leave the club and that interest is being shown in Hellas Verona winger Juan Iturbe.

He added: "We are interested in Iturbe and I've already met one of his agents. We're following him but it is a complex negotiation.

"Taddei? We think he's finished his time at Roma. This choice pains me, but I thank him for what he has done for Roma."

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