United prepare £24million bid for 27-year-old defender

A few hours following United’s defeat to Swansea Sky Sports reported that Moroccan international and Roma player Mehdi Benatia is to fly to England to hold negotiations with the Red Devils.

He started his career in France before moving to Italy’s Serie A initially with Udinese and then with AS Roma who acquired him last year for €13.5m. Benatia is an experienced player at 27 years of age.  Possibly, most of United’s supporters have never heard of or followed him. However, followers of Italian football consider him as one of the best (if not the best) defenders in Italy and as we all know, Italians know a thing or two about defending.

A personal friend of mine, who is a qualified Football Physical Trainer, whose Professor at University was former Manchester United and Real Madrid Physical Trainer – Walter di Salvo, happens to be an AS Roma supporter. He only had words of praise for the Moroccan Central Defender. Describing him as a strong and consistent defender who is worthy of any top team.

AS Roma, always looked at Benatia as an investment as they were aware that interest in him will not fade away. Having acquired him for just over €13m, they will most probably be making around €10-15m profit in less than a year. What is important is what he could contribute to Manchester United. The Red Devils defence lacks a proper and natural leader and Benatia may bring that to United defence and hopefully install belief.

Louis van Gaal claimed on Friday’s press conference that it only takes 24 hours to sign a player. Possibly, having this transfer already in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement is made as early on Monday. Personally, I believe that Benatia was United’s Plan B. Man Utd’s Plan A was Mats Hummels, the Germany and Borussia Dortmund Central Defender. His coach, Jurgen Klopp, made it clear on more than one occasion that the player is not for sale and to emphasise this he also handed the commanding defender the team’s captaincy.

Injuries have already hit United hard in the department which lacks most numbers – defence. In consideration of this as well as to avoid over reliance on youth, Benatia is possibly not the only new defender to join Manchester United. It was claimed that Daley Blind’s agent was at Old Trafford on Saturday whilst Sky Sports also reported that the Red Devils are hoping to resolve a conflict between Sporting Lisbon and the third party owners of Marcos Rojo.

Names such as Vidal and Di Maria are still going strong in the press,  I personally hope that there is some truth in these reports and that these transfers may happen.

Hopefully Benatia will be the first of a number of transfers United will conclude prior to the end of the transfer window. Certainly this would be a step in the right direction and would be an improvement on the current stock of players.

About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. Man Utd have not learned any lesson from the previous “ala David Moyes era”. Still there is total crap talk is going on, MU is intersted to sign Vidal, MU is now in talk with Juan Cuadrado and MU is in talk with Di Maria…and so on. Till now no one is signed and all this talk and rumours are just “bullshit”. Looks like the defeat to Swansea is a very good lesson to the MU board, but where is the promise made by the CEO (Ed Woodward). Is this going to be another flop by the MU top Management. MU can hire the best manager on land, if they have players not capable to play under pressure and perform, I’m afraid MU will be out from the Premier League Div soon.

  2. by now atleast two players should have already been signed, not rumours here and there, this was exactly what happened last season after which nothing later happened in the transfer market as far as am concern, the way you people are running things in transfer market will ruin man utd, we need at least 4 quality world class players, i beg# boys are not smiling at all#

  3. This all confusion is merit of CEO (ED WOODWARD). THIS IS THE SAME PERSON OF LAST YEAR together with David Moyes. He is not the right person negotiating transfer of players. Last year I recommended UTD to sack HIM.
    Hoping that we have newcomers b4 transfer deadline.

  4. MEDDI BENATIA- Have read somewhere that Chelsea & UTD are not ready to pay requested sum by ROMA.
    Chelsea cud be right to do so because Chelsea are not drastically in need of a Centre Back at least for the time being B U T UTD are surely desperately in need of a professional Centre Back b4 closing deadline date transfer.
    Theefore hoping that UTD will have this time to use the STRONGEST WEAPON i.e. MONEY to secure BENATIA b4 transfer dealine date.
    Failing to secure this player UTD will surely make not one of the first top four.

  5. By the looks of it, it seems that the normally the reliable Sky made a total mess out of it. They were the only ones to report an interest from United’s side in the player. In fact most other have claimed that United had no interest in the player.

    Apparently it is Bayern who are interested in the player following the longterm injury to Martinez. However, they are not willing to match Roma’s request. It is now apparent that they have set their sight on other targets whilst the Moroccan will be offered fresh terms at Roma which is likely to accept.

    This is possibly worse than last summer. As Woodward was still bedding in and the squad was still intact from the title-winning team. However, this year, we have let go 3 defensive stalwarts and rather than replacing them we are still having a snooze. United and especially Woodward himself hyped up this transfer market yet nothing really materialised.

    I really hope for the final two weeks to be more positive as otherwise I fear for the Club’s season.

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