Manchester United scout Benatia, but enquire after impressive teenager

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Manchester United sent a spotter to the Stadio Olimpico to have a look at Mehdi Benatia, but came away with yet another target.

The Red Devils’ push to reinforce the squad this summer looked in full swing at the weekend, scouting missions abroad in full force with the club out of action at the weekend.

David Moyes himself flew out to Germany to take in the performances of Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos and Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter, whilst reconnaissance work was also reportedly underway in Portugal, France and Italy.

Emissaries in the Italian capital were believed to be dispatched to see AS Roma stalwart Benatia in action against Inter, the Moroccan having stood at the centre of Serie A’s meanest after making the move from Udinese last summer.

The Italian press have alleged that United see the France-born stopper as a more refined option than Juventus’ Angelo Ogbonna, who departed Torino for the Old Lady last July.

However, it’s still widely agreed that the Mancunians will be hard-pressed to get Benatia’s signature come summer given that he only just joined the Giallorossi and Champions League football looks to be on the horizon in the Eternal City.

Yet according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, the ex-Zebrette man wasn’t the only member of Roma’s back line to catch scouts’ attention in the scoreless draw with the Nerazzurri.

The transfer guru has contended that United representatives were impressed by 19-year-old Alessio Romagnoli, requesting information on him following an impressive performance.

A native of Rome raised in the Roma youth academy, the teenager is a centre-back by trade but spent the evening at left-back on Saturday due to an injury crisis in Rudi Garcia’s side.

Romagnoli broke into the first team last season under former boss Zdenek Zeman and has continued to consistently make the bench for his hometown club since.

It remains unclear if United see the teenager as an immediate solution - he’s played just 125 minutes of top flight football this term - or one to keep an eye on in the near future.

A more experienced option, such as team-mate Benatia, looks a more probably short-term goal for Moyes’ outfit, though Romagnoli is seemingly now on the radar and the Red Devils will likely keep tabs on his development going forward.

image: © Damien Cansse

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