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Benatia agent to fly to Barcelona

The agent of in-demand Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is due to fly to Barcelona, suggesting the Catalan side may be leading the race to sign him.

The battle to sign Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia is hotting up and Barcelona seem to have stolen a march on Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.


The Moroccan star was one of the best defenders in Serie A this term and while Roma want to keep hold of him, it has been suggested that the capital club are resigned to cashing him in.


While Manchester City have reportedly prepared an offer for Roma and Manchester United and Chelsea are interested, it seems that Barcelona have taken action.


According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Benatia's agent has an appointment in the next few days in Barcelona to discuss his client with the club.


New boss Luis Enrique is apparently keen to snare the commanding centre-back and the player is starting to seem unsettled by the speculation.


Benatia has reportedly asked for his £1m wage packet to be doubled if he is to extend his contract at Roma and the Serie A side don't seem to be able to match those demands.


La Gazzetta dello Sport insists that Roma coach Rudi Garcia has declared Benatia not for sale but the club's sporting director Walter Sabatini may see things differently.


Roma's squad are in the USA on tour but won't be joined by Benatia as he is on international duty with Morocco who are holding a training camp in Portugal.

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