Competition for the signature of Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia remains high. Chelsea look to win the race for his services, while talk of an Adrien Rabiot swoop is gaining in momentum.
According to the report, the Moroccan will complete his €30 million move to Bavaria on Monday, giving Pep Guardiola his replacement for Javi Martinez, ruled out for six months through injury.
Earlier this month, Roma boss Rudi Garcia was quoted by Football Italia in being confident that Benatia would remain in the Italian capital:
It’s normal, we are in different worlds. Yours is to find hidden things that sometimes are not there. Yesterday I read that he had 99 per cent signed for a club and today he is 99 per cent staying at Roma. Yesterday I was looking for a replacement, today I am not. There will be time for Benatia to talk. As long as you speak of this story it will be difficult. Anyway, thank you, I really enjoy this.
Benatia has steadily built his reputation as one of Serie A's finest defenders, but Jose Mourinho's desire to sign the powerful presence may be one transfer aspiration too far.
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports claims that the Giallorossi's valuation of their defender is yet to be met by United or Bayern:
Benatia situation: stalemate. Nor Manchester United nor Bayern making the raise requested by Roma; Roma not stepping back— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 22, 2014
Elsewhere, Chelsea remain locked in a battle to sign Paris Saint-Germain wantaway Adrien Rabiot, who has rejected a new deal at Parc des Princes and is supposedly heading for the exit.
The Express' David Wright says it would cost just £9.5 million to sign the youngster, with PSG manager Laurent Blanc quoted in the report as confessing, "I believe he [Rabiot] will leave, but I can't tell you where. Rabiot has received a good [contract] offer from PSG but apparently it doesn't interest him. It's a shame."
The midfield talent is now in the final year of his contract, hence the affordable fee now being linked with his services.
However, Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC notes that the player's mother and agent Veronique will drive a hard bargain with any club wishing to sign her son:
@TheCalcioGuy Dealing with Rabiot's mother, Veronique, will probably age Galliani & Berlusconi so much that it puts them in the ground!— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 22, 2014
The Blues' ranks are already bustling with young, up-and-coming talent, but Mourinho may not pass up on the opportunity to add another prospect with a cut-price deal on the table.
Rabiot's rebellion reduces the amount needed to prise his talents away from the French capital, but one has to question a player's attitude in such circumstances and whether or not it represents the kind of ethics one wants in his or her own squad, irrespective of potential.