Manchester United want in-demand Roma star after missing out on signing

by Sam Peoples

Following the transfer of Ezequiel Garay from Benfica to Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester United are now being linked with Moroccan central defender Mehdi Benatia.

Long-term United target Garay completed his move to Zenit and has joined former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas  in a £12m deal on a five-year contract.

Reports coming from Italian newspaper Il Messaggero suggest Manchester United, along with local rivals Manchester City and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, are all keen on Roma defender, Benatia.

It is said that despite Roma issuing a hands off warning for the man the signed from Udinese, they believe the transfer of Garay will play into their hands as it has strengthened their bargaining position for Benatia, and they will look to hold out for a €40m offer.

It is no surprise that United are being linked with a player of such quality as, following the departure of first choice centre-half pairing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, cover in this area is imperative.

Whilst new United boss Louis van Gaal remains in Brazil with his Holland side, the club has been busy in completing a £29m deal for Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera left-back Luke Shaw for approximately £29m.

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