Moroccan could be staying in Serie A.
Read more Manchester United transfer news.
Manchester United and Chelsea are bracing themselves for significant transfer market disappointment, report the Express, as Serie A runners-up AS Roma prepare to open new contract talks with highly coveted centre back Mehdi Benatia.
Both Premier League rivals, along with Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, have been linked with a move for the highly-rated Benatia in recent days, but Roma are desperate to keep hold of the Moroccan international and are now readying talks with the player over an extended deal at the Stadio Olimpico.
The report suggests that the player’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, is set to meet with Roma chiefs shortly as the two parties look to agree a deal to keep Benatia at the club for the long term.
Benatia was a key part of the AS Roma defence that was so integral to manager Rudi Garcia’s successful first season in charge in the Italian capital, with his back line being particularly frugal, with the second best record in Serie A behind eventual champions Juventus.
United, however, have no such continuity in defence, with Louis van Gaal sure to have been concerned by the ease with which his side were opened up in their opening day defeat to Swansea City on Saturday.
Read more Chelsea transfer rumours.