Manchester United and Chelsea target staying put claims Roma boss

Mehdi Benatia playing for Morocco

Roma manager Rudi Garcia has again reiterated that Mehdi Benatia will not be leaving this transfer window.

Manchester United and Chelsea are both in need of defensive reinforcements; more so with United who only have Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling as their senior first team centre-backs.

Benatia has been one of the best centre-backs in Europe during the past year and his performances were influential in helping Roma remain unbeaten in their first 17 Serie A matches last season.

His defensive prowess and attacking ability; he scored five goals in 33 appearances, led Roma to second place, so it's no wonder really that many of Europe's elite sides have been credited with an interest in the Moroccan.

Louis van Gaal is reportedly keen on bringing the 27-year-old to Old Trafford to boost his options for the forthcoming season, but Chelsea's Jose Mourinho is likely to offer some stiff competition if rumours are to be believed.

The media have been claiming potential suitors for the defender, will have to cough up £30 million if they want to secure his services. But Roma's French manager has for the second time quashed speculation linking him with a move.

Garcia told reporters: “As far as I can see he has a four-year contract and that’s all that needs to be said. 

“This is always a tricky period, as we need to wait until September for the transfer market to close.

“I spoke to Walter Sabatini: the more we know things in advance, the earlier I can plan the team and the better that will be for Roma.

“I had asked to have a larger squad this season and I have it. There’s competition for places and for the moment we are on the right track.”

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