Nemanja Vidic is leaving Manchester United at the end of the current campaign, and he will leave behind a sizeable hole for David Moyes to fill.
The likes of Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquim Mangala have been most regularly linked with a move to Old Trafford, but the Express reports that it is in fact Mehdi Benatia who is Moyes’ number one choice to replace the Serbian centre-back.
Here are five facts about the Roma defender:
1) Benatia is a 26-year-old Moroccan international who currently plays in Serie A for Roma. He has been practically an ever-present for Rudi Garcia’s side this season, missing just a single league match due to suspension.
2) Benatia’s job may be to keep the ball out of his net, but he also knows where the opposition’s goal is. He has scored five times so far this season, including a brace in a 4-0 win against Catania.
3) He began his professional career at Marseille, but did not feature for the first-team. Instead he spent loan spells at Tours and Lorient before completing a permanent move to Clermont in 2008.
4) After 57 appearances for the French side he moved on a free transfer to Udinese. Three years later, he moved to Roma for a reported fee of €13.5million.
5) Considering Benatia has only been at Roma since the summer, it could be quite a challenge to convince the Italians to sell, and even more of a stretch to get the player to sign. He has previously voiced his love of Italy, although he did say he would consider a move if “a huge English, Spanish or German club come in for me”.
image: © Damien Cansse