Barca join Benatia chase

Barcelona have joined the long list of suitors for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, according to Sport.

The newspaper claims Benatia is wanted be a host of European clubs after an impressive first year in the Italian capital, with Barca just the latest to express interest.

Benatia moved to Roma from Udinese after Marquinhos was sold to Paris Saint-Germain. He has a contract until 2018 and it would take at least €25m to sign the 27-year-old, it is said.

Roma don’t want to sell but are said to be unwilling to renew Benatia’s contract in return, which could lead to the player pushing for a move away.

Benatia’s agent is to discuss the matter with Roma and the Moroccan has spoken of his interest in playing for Barca.

Barca are understood to want to refresh the centre of their defence, with particular reference to their ability to defend corners, a particular strength of Benatia’s.

Tags Benatia Roma