Bayern star’s honest remarks on £24m Chelsea and Manchester United target

Arjen Robben admits that he had not heard of Chelsea and Manchester United target Mehdi Benatia until he joined Bayern Munich this week.

Mehdi Benatia has been one of the most talked-about players in this transfer window and was reportedly on the radars of Manchester United and Chelsea, before eventually signing for Bayern Munich earlier this week.

But one former Chelsea star who missed all the speculation is Arjen Robben, who will play alongside the Moroccan defender at Bayern this season.

In fact, until this week when the centre-back left AS Roma for the German champions, the Netherlands international winger did not even know who he was.

‘Honestly, I do not know him’, quotes Robben as saying. ‘I only know that he comes from the Roma. But the club will know why they got him’.

It is a frank admission from former Madrid star Robben, who is one of the best wingers in the world and even at the age of 30 remains world class.

The fact that Robben had not heard of Benatia until now should not come as a huge surprise.

As brilliant as Benatia is, he is a late bloomer and came to the fore only last season, when he played a crucial role from the back in helping Roma finish second in Serie A.

Prior to that, the 27-year-old featured for Udinese for three years between 2010 and 2013. Although the Morocco international blossomed with the Bianconeri, it was at Roma and under coach Rudi Garcia that he played his best football to date.

Benatia’s performances last season saw him linked with United and Chelsea, who had to cough up as much as £24 million to sign him. However, it was Pep Guardiola’s Bayern who won the race to secure his prized signature.

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