Manchester City’s decision to baulk at AS Roma’s initial £30 million valuation of defender Mehdi Benatia could prove costly, with Bayern Munich rumoured to have entered the race to sign the player with an offer too good to resist.
The Citizens had hoped to reach an agreement with the Serie A side for the Morocco international, who was identified as a potential alternative to long-time target Eliaquim Mangala, amid concerns that the Porto defender is stalling over a move.
Benatia was previously linked with a move to Manchester United, having impressed in Italy last term helping Roma to a runners-up finish in Serie A just a year after moving to the Stadio Olimpico from fellow Italian side Udinese.
Signed for €13.5 million on a five-year deal last summer, AS Roma have so far played hardball in their negotiations over the defender, giving City a deadline to either meet their valuation of the 27-year-old or end their interest.
But the Giallorossi may now end negotiations all together, with the Corriere Dello Sport reporting that Bayern Munich have entered the race to sign the defender.
According to the report, the Bavarians may have one ace up their sleeve when it comes to convincing Roma to part ways with the defender: Xherdan Shaqiri.
Fresh from making headlines for Switzerland at the World Cup as one of only two players to score a hat-trick, the attacking midfielder is reportedly keen on enjoying more first team football following a season spent playing a bit-part role at the Allianz Arena.
Previously linked with a move to Liverpool, Shaqiri could be open to a move to Roma as part of any transfer deal with a move to the Olimpico offering the chance of playing more regularly under Rudi Garcia – a manager garnering a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting attack-minded coaches.
Roma are believed to be in negotiations over a deal that could include Benatia.
With Bayern’s offer sounding difficult to turn down, Manchester City may have to rethink their strategy if they really want Benatia.