Moroccan, 27, is contracted to the Stadio Olimpico until June 2018.
Big-spending Premier League outfit Manchester City have now joined arch-rivals Manchester United in the race to land highly rated AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia at the end of the season, according to reports in the Sun.
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The experienced Morocco international is currently enjoying a fine campaign at the heart of the high-flying Serie A side’s back four, eye-catching form that resulted in the previous Red Devils head coach David Moyes sending scouts over to the Italian capital earlier this year to run their eye over Benatia.
And had the Scot not been relieved of his duties at Old Trafford last week, then it was widely expected that the Premier League champions who follow up that initial interest in Benatia by making a firm offer for the coveted central defender when the summer transfer window reopened for business with the Red Devils keen to find a long-term replacement at the back going forward for their departing skipper Nemanja Vidic.
However, if as expected United do return to the Romans to try to sign Benatia this summer, then they are now set to face stiff competitions for the player’s signature from their city rivals, who themselves are also currently on the look out for a new defender for next season.