Manchester City reportedly close in on first summer signing

Reports suggest that Manchester City are getting ever closer to making Mehdi Benatia their first signing of the summer.


Manchester City have been linked with countless names since the season ended but that is to be expected for a team capable of spending endless amounts of money.

It looks like strengthening the defence will be a priority for Manuel Pellegrini. That was a weakness for them last season, and now Joleon Lescott will be leaving on a free transfer and Micah Richards is likely to depart as well. They are heavy favourites to sign Bacary Sagna from Arsenal but that has yet to be agreed.

A more likely first foray into the transfer market now looks to be with Roma defender Mehdi Benatia. Gazzetta Dello Sport have reported that City are close to striking a deal to sign the centre-back. The Italian newspaper believe that Pellegrini has identified the Moroccan international as his number one target for this summer.

Martin Demichelis was Vincent Kompany's primary defensive partner last season but he was often error-prone and Pellegrini is looking to strengthen that area. Benatia has really impressed for Roma since joining from Udinese last year. He helped his side to second place in Serie A finishing behind Juventus.

It is thought his signing could cost Manchester City £25m and Benatia would be willing to leave Roma following a what he thought to be a poor offer of a contract extension. Mehdi revealed that when he initially joined the club they promised that if they won the league or qualified for the Champions League he would be offered a much improved deal.what I got was an unacceptable proposal. I’ve heard that I was asking for €4m a year, but I never even got €3m.”

Speaking on the matter, the defender said, "What I got was an unacceptable proposal. I’ve heard that I was asking for €4m a year, but I never even got €3m.”

"I also told Garcia that they had made me a low offer. I only asked for a contract that shows that Roma really cares. But if they tell me this or nothing, it means that they do not want to keep me.”

The contract situation at Roma could be set to carry on for a while but it is clear Benatia is not happy that the club haven't made him an offer that he feels he is worthy of. He wants to feel wanted at the club, so it is an ideal time for City to make the move and take advantage of the situation. Gazzetta Dello Sport believe City are on their way to completing the deal.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch