Chelsea Transfer News: Latest on Mehdi Benatia and Jose Mourinho's Next Raid

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 24, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 2: Defender Mehdi Benatia #17 of AS Roma participates in the match against FC Internazionale Milano during the International Champions Cup on August 2, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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.

Benatia is being courted by Manchester United and Bayern Munich, with Football Italia claiming that the Germans sit in pole position to clinch his services.

RIETI, ITALY - JULY 18:  Mehdi Benatia of Roma before the friendly match between AS Roma and Indonesia U23 at Stadio Centro d'Italia - Manlio Scopigno on July 18, 2014 in Rieti, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

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:

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."

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 12:  Adrien Rabiot of PSG in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Bayer Leverkusen at Parc des Princes on March 12, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropou
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

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:

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.