On Tuesday, the Mirror reported that Manchester City had agreed a £30 million deal to sign centre-back Mehdi Benatia from Serie A giants Roma.
The Moroccan enjoyed a fine campaign in the Italian capital last season, but has locked horns with the Giallorossi over pay increase and is reportedly looking for a way out of the Eternal City.
City had long been linked with an opportunistic move to secure the 27-year-old’s services, though Roma’s demands for a lucrative transfer fee remained the primary stumbling block.
This issue appeared to be resolved with a £30 million offer from Manuel Pellegrini’s men, which the Mirror claimed Roma would be inclined to accept once a suitable replacement for Benatia had been found.
However, Sky Sport Italia have now maintained that the Stadio Olimpico outfit instead rejected a £28 million bid from City and are holding out for better terms.
Roma have countered by asking for £24 million cash and 21-year-old central defender Matija Nastasic in return for Benatia.
Nastasic is rated by the Giallorossi at £12 million, bringing the total value of the proposed deal to £36 million - significantly higher than the £28 million initially put forward by City.
Roma appear keen to streamline the process of finding Benatia’s successor by requesting Nastasic be included.
The Serbian has Serie A experience from his time at Fiorentina - who sold the Serbian to City in the summer of 2012 - whilst his agent is said to have visited Roma’s Trigoria training ground just days ago.
Benatia has been training away from his Giallorossi team-mates and is reportedly keen to join the Citizens, though it remains to be seen if City are willing to accept Roma’s conditions.