Serie A side play hardball with David Moyes.
Italian giants Roma have told Manchester United manager David Moyes that it will cost them £15m in cash and Portuguese winger Nani if they want to stand any chance of signing highly rated centre back Mehdi Benatia this month.
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CaughtOffside understands that Moyes has been a long time admirer of the France-born Moroccan international and is prepared to make a concrete offer for the player in a bid to secure a replacement for veteran Rio Ferdinand, who is out of contract with the club at the end of the season.
Benatia has been making waves across Europe for several years now since turning out for Serie A rivals Udinese in 2010. Roma pounced on his signature in July, brining him to the Stadio Olimpico in a deal worth £13.5m and he has continued to impress this term across his 19 appearances for the Italian table toppers.
Moyes has been close attention because not only is he a solid competitor in front of his own goal, but is a dangerous threat in front of opponents as well, notching up five goals already this season – matching the same tally he scored in his 72 appearances for Udinese.
Having only joined this summer Roma are thought to be reluctant to let him leave, but the club’s owners are well known for considering offers that may be too good to turn down. They are aware of United’s interest in the player and has reportedly told them that as well as splashing out on a £10m fee they must hand over Nani as a sweetener too.
The Portuguese winger has been deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford this season and has already been linked with Juventus as well as a return to former club Sporting Lisbon, however, Roma are thought to be frontrunners as they have a player that the Red Devils are keen to bring on board.
Benatia is thought to be happy in the Italian capital, but should United make a gig offer then he may find it too good to turn down. Moyes is hoping to make him a long term starter as he continues to reshape the squad and mould it into his own after a disappointing transfer window over the summer saw him bring in just Marouane Fellaini from Everton.
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