City target seventh best player in Europe.
Premier League champions Manchester City are plotting a summer move for Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, according to The Sun.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a fine season in Serie A, helping his side keep 21 clean sheets and finish second in the league table.
Yesterday, the second annual BSports Power 50 list, which ranks players in Europe based on statistical data, was released.
Benatia was the highest-placed defender on the list. He ranked seventh overall, behind only Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin Strootman and Diego Costa.
Despite conceding just 37 goals in 38 league games this season, Man City are keen to enhance their central defensive ranks this summer.
Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala was believed to be the first choice at the Etihad Stadium.
However, The Sun suggest that the 23-year-old France international wants to wait under after the World Cup before making a decision on where his club future lies.
City apparently want to have their major business concluded before the World Cup and are therefore likely to look elsewhere.
Benatia, who has four years left to run on his current contract, is reportedly valued by Roma at around £30m.
He has been capped 31 times by Morocco at senior international level.