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Report: Benatia reps in Spain to discuss transfer to Barcleona

May 26, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

Benatia AP

According to a report by France Football, a representative for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is in Spain to talk with Barcelona about a possible transfer.

The in-demand defender, linked to Manchester City and Chelsea, helped Roma to secure an impressive second-place finish in Serie A this year, even giving champions Juventus a look or two over their shoulder in a year when they otherwise blew away the competition.

A report just three days ago in the Daily Mail mentioned new Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was interested, but quoted Roma boss Raul Garcia with saying Benatia would be staying.

Garcia noted the 27-year-old has a contract through the summer of 2018 with no release clause, so any interested club will have to pony up serious money for Benatia.

But, Garcia also admitted, “It’s logical that clubs are looking at him, given the season he had.”

However, it would appear the player is attempting to test the market and see what other clubs can offer, and a move to Barcleona would be hard for the Moroccan international to turn down, especially if they could convince him he would start in the new revamped team.

Enrique will likely be making big changes around the Nou Camp, especially to the defense, after Carlos Puyol retired, Javier Mascherano is linked with a move away, and young Marc Bartra has struggled to secure consistent time.

Benatia made 33 Serie A appearances in his first season with Roma after a $20 million move last summer from Udinese.

  1. bayoor75 - May 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Roma coming in 2nd in serie A is NOT impressive. I watch a lot of serie A games this season and I must say that I was NOT the least bit impressed. No wonder Juventus is dominating. All the other “top” teams are awful, except Napoli. Even then, Napoli did not have the mental strength to go against the big-name clubs. And too many Roma games where the find it very difficult to score. Another problem with Roma is that they conceded a lot of goals, especially close after going ahead. I don’t know if it’s lapse in concentration or something else, but they need to work on that. Another annoying thing about Roma is their propensity to concede late goals – and they don’t have that one player that can coax a little extra from his teammates.

    • mmdot43 - May 26, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Roma is not there yet, but taking steps…moving in the right direction and Benatia is part of it…just noise

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