Report: £30m Serie A defender wants Chelsea move

Mehdi Benatia playing for Morocco

With a deal for Atletico Madrid left back Filipe Luis nearing its completion, Mehdi Benatia reportedly wants to join Chelsea as well this summer.

The Blues snapped up Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Atletico striker Diego Costa for a combined fee of just over £60m, with boss Jose Mourinho needing reinforcements after finishing his first season back at Stamford Bridge without a trophy. Fabregas arrives to try and replace the goalscoring ability of Frank Lampard in midfield, whilst Costa should finally be the striker to consistently score goals having seens Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres all struggle last term.

After the departures of centre back David Luiz and left back Ashley Cole, Mourinho has had two big holes to fill in his defence. Brazilian international Luis looks set to replace Cole on the left hand side of the defence in a £20m deal, but many had assumed that youngster Kurt Zouma would come in to replace Luiz in the Chelsea squad - but speculation today suggests that they could be looking at a blockbuster deal for a centre half.

Roma's Mehdi Benatia, 27, played a key part in Roma's defence as Rudi Garcia's side conceded just 25 goals last season, and his superb displays in the Italian capital have attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona, and most prominently, Manchester City. Roma gave them a deadline of July 21st to pay up €35m for the Moroccan international, but given that Manuel Pellegrini's side look close to tying up a deal for Porto's Eliaquim Mangala, it seems that they have turned their attention away from former Udinese man Benatia.

The French-born defender is reportedly seeking a move to Chelsea, despite allegedly turning down a move to the Blues when he was with Marseille. With John Terry's career ultimately drawing towards its end, Mourinho needs to find his heir in the centre of the Chelsea defence. Benatia undoubtedly has the athleticism and awareness to be a star in the Premier League, and based on his performances in Italy, he'd certainly be worth the £30m asking price as Chelsea continue to improve their squad ahead of the new season.

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