Highly-rated stopper claims homesickness prevented Stamford Bridge move.
Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia has revealed that he rejected the chance to join Chelsea during Jose Mourinho’s first stint in charge of the club after living with both Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele, according to the Metro.
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The 27-year-old is now a strong target for Manchester United, but spent a short time on trial with Chelsea during Mourinho’s first spell in charge at the club.
And he claims that living with star duo Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele put him off making a permanent move to west Lonodn, not because they were difficult housemates, but because they made him homesick.
“I did a test of three or four days in London. I lived with Didier Drogba and Claude Makelele,” the Moroccan said.
“They were a great team but I did not feel ready to go. I was offered a three-year contract but I was fine at Marseille and the idea of moving abroad scared me.”
Benatia eventually did move abroad in 2010 when he joined Italian side Udinese, where he impressed for three seasons before making the move to Roma last summer.
He has since become one of Europe’s hottest properties thanks to his strong performances at the back to the capital club, and is now one of Manchester United’s top transfer targets as the transfer window approaches.
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