New Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia has revealed that both Chelsea and Manchester City were interested in signing him this summer.
The Morocco international ultimately swapped Roma for the Allianz Arena in a £21million move, but for a long period of the close-season the centre-back was tipped to move to the Premier League.
One of the most talented central defenders currently playing the game, it was no surprise Benatia was linked with a number of top clubs in Europe. And following the injury of Javi Martinez, he was quickly scooped up by Pep Guardiola’s side for what many believe is a bargain fee.
Speaking to German magazine Kicker in an interview later published by ESPN, Benatia revealed exactly which clubs wanted him prior to his move.
“Manchester City and Chelsea, but there were also enquiries from Barcelona and Real Madrid,” he said.
“Bayern are one of the top four clubs in the world. They play for every title year in, year out. You don’t reject such an offer.”
Given that City signed Eliaquim Mangala to partner Vincent Kompany, it is surprising they were also interested in Benatia. While Chelsea’s interest is a little easier to make sense of, given that John Terry is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blues’ younger defenders still have plenty to learn.
But as it was neither Chelsea nor City got their man, which will be a huge disappointment to their fans when they see just how good Benatia is when he shines for the German giants.