Is Mehdi Benatia interest the reason Tomas Kalas will be sent on loan?

Chelsea have been linked with Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, which may explain why Tomas Kalas will spend a spell away from the club.

Reports earlier this week claimed Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas was set for a loan spell at Bundesliga side Cologne next season, and it has since been confirmed that the Cech player will spend a season away from Stamford Bridge.

Given that he had impressed in his brief spells on the pitch for the Blues, and with David Luiz close to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, the news that Kalas was set for a spell away from Stamford Bridge was surprising.

But now it is being claimed Roma’s sought-after centre-back Mehdi Benatia wants a move to Chelsea, which could explain why Jose Mourinho is happy to allow such a promising defender to play elsewhere next season.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Chelsea have looked into the possibility of signing Benatia, and that the Moroccan would favour a move to London. This despite reported interest from both Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

However, the problem could lie in Roma’s refusal to sell Benatia on the cheap (or even the reasonably expensive) with Gazzetta claiming the Serie A side want a huge €61million for the player.

When you consider Luiz will reportedly move to PSG for around £48million, the price-tag put on Benatia makes sense. After all, the 27-year-old is regarded as one of the best defenders in Italy and with a contract until 2018 Roma have no reason to sell.

Of course such a fee is extortionate but it only reflects what happens when other players are sold for befuddling amounts.

Roma are unlikely to get anywhere near €61million for Benatia. But they will know they can get more than what has reportedly been offered by City and Bayern. And while Kurt Zouma is likely to be given chances to show what he can do at the highest level, Benatia's arrival could shed light on Kalas’s temporary departure.

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