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Report: Chelsea make contact with Roma for Benatia

It is being reported in Italy that Chelsea have opened discussions with Roma over centre-back Mehdi Benatia.

Mehdi Benatia has been in limbo since a deal to Manchester City was taken off the table and Chelsea appear to have made their first move for him.

The Moroccan international was a revelation for Roma last season and proved to be a rock at the back for the Eternal City side.

Benatia's efforts brought him to the attention of some of Europe's biggest sides and seemed to unsettle him with reports that he has demanded a vast pay rise from Roma.

Earlier in the summer, a move to Manchester City seemed on the cards, but the Premier League champions went for Eliaquim Mangala instead.

A somewhat sheepish Benatia returned to the Roma fold in pre-season and appears to have the support of the fans despite making his desire to leave known.

However, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Benatia has been discussing his future with agent Moussa Sissoko and is still hoping for an offer to arrive.

Roma seem to be preparing for Benatia's exit and have been linked with possible replacements, including Ron Vlaar and Kostas Manolas.

La Gazzetta dello Sport believes that Chelsea have now called Roma to make provisional enquires about Benatia and the next stage would be to table an offer.

Benatia is valued at around £25 million, but Chelsea have plenty of money to invest in their defence after selling David Luiz. 

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