So is this the end of the long term ‘Mehdi Benatia to the Premier League’ transfer saga? According to reports in the reputed Gianluca Di Marzio website, the Chelsea and Manchester City target is set to open new contract talks with Roma in the coming weeks.
Gazzetta Dello Sport have also quoted the Giallorossi manager Rudi Garcia saying that the Moroccan will be at the Italian capital for the next season, thus squashing claims over a possible switch to the Premier League.
The defender was training on his own at the club’s Trigoria training complex but joined the squad ahead of their pre season tour at the United States. Garcia also claimed that the 27 year old will play a significant part in the friendly against Premier League side Liverpool.
Benatia too gave the clearest of indication that he would like to stay by flashing his thumb when a supporter asked the player if he was staying at the club for the coming campaign.
The Wolves had earlier given Manchester City a deadline till the 21st of July to sign the player but the Premier League Champions failed to make a bid for the player during the time frame. It is believed that the Citizens are still waiting to sign Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala.
Chelsea too failed to table a bid to the Serie A runners up after they had pursued their interest in Benatia, but the Blues will now have to look elsewhere if they are to sign an established defender ahead of the new season.