Chelsea Plot Bid To Hijack Manchester United’s €37.5m Move

By on August 10, 2014

The summer transfer window is now well under way and managers are working hard to strengthen their squads ahead of next season, so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip. Today, Chelsea are ready to rival Man Utd for Mehdi Benatia.

Image: Express

Chelsea are ready to try and hijack Manchester United’s move for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia with Jose Mourinho plotting a €37.5m bid for the Moroccan centre-back, according to reports.

Benatia has emerged as one of the best central defenders in Serie A after an excellent debut season with Roma last year, where he was a rock at the back and played a key role in helping Rudi Garcia’s men finishing second behind champions Juventus.

The Moroccan international’s impressive displays have attracted interest from abroad with Manchester United among the clubs strongly linked with a move for the 27-year-old in recent weeks, with the former champions understood to be hopeful of securing a €37.5m (£30m) deal.

New United boss Louis van Gaal has adopted a 3-5-2 formation for the new season but with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both departed, the Dutchman has only Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to call upon to fill the three centre-back positions.

The lack of options at the back means van Gaal is expected to bring in at least one experienced defender before the end of the month and Benatia appears to have become a top target after missing out on Thomas Vermaelen – who joined Barcelona on Sunday.

However, it looks like United will now face stiff competition from rivals Chelsea with the Express claiming that Jose Mourinho is set to table a €37.5m (£30m) bid of his own after identifying Benatia as the man to replace David Luiz following the Brazilian’s move to PSG.

The Blues do have youngster Kurt Zouma within their ranks this year but the newspaper suggests that Mourinho is set to send the 19-year-old out on loan again, meaning he’ll need to sign another centre-back and Benatia is now firmly on his radar.

It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this transfer tussle. Chelsea are able to offer Champions League football, but there must be doubts over whether the player will be able to break up the Terry-Cahill partnership on a regular basis or if he’ll be nothing more than a back-up to the English duo.

READ MORE –> Chelsea transfer news | Man Utd transfer news

At United, Benatia would almost certainly be guaranteed a first team spot and van Gaal will no doubt be hoping the lure of regular action will be able to make up for the lack of European football on offer at Old Trafford this season.

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