The transfer window has been kicked wide open following the end of the Arsenal season and as usual a lot of players have been linked with a move to the Emirates as well as several other Arsenal stars being linked with a move out of the Emirates.
Roma have slapped a £32m price-tag on Mehdi Benatia after admitting they are not able to give the Moroccan the new contract he desires.
Roma remain hopeful that they can hold onto the 27-year-old who has four years remaining on his current deal.
But Benatia is keen to renegotiate terms and has reportedly asked Roma to extend his contract until 2019 and double his wages.
The Serie A club are in no position to meet that demand, with manager Rudi Garcia revealing last week that he didn’t want to see any of his players leave but also admit that Roma could not add to their current wage bill.
Indeed, while Roma are hopeful that they can fetch £32m for Benatia, it is thought that they may settle for a fee in the region of £28m rather than have an unhappy player on their books.
A fee in that region could well pique the interest of Manchester United, Arsenal or Manchester City, all of whom have been tracking Benatia’s progress.
Barcelona are also interested in the player, and could beat the Premier League trio to the defender after his agent flew to Spain last week for preliminary talks with the Catalan club.
But City in particular are in need of a new central defender to partner Vincent Kompany and are the least likely of the three Premier League suitors to be put off by the price tag.
From Roma’s perspective even a £28m fee would represent a £10m return on a player they bought from Udinese just one year ago and would be more than sufficient to bring in a replacement.
It now remains to be seen which club can capitalise on Benatia’s current unhappiness to steal him away from Roma this summer.
In my own opinion, i don’t think Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should go for this player and with a few reasons below are as to why Wenger should snub this move.
– There are loads of defenders better than Benatia out there in the transfer market that Arsenal could go for, should we even decide to make a big move for a defender.
– The asking price demanded by Roma for the player is outrageous. £32m slammed on the players head is an outright transfer bizarre for a defender with his only European experience being a single Europa League competition spell.
– With the likes of Arsenal centre defenders; Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny firing on top form season-in season-out, Arsenal should not be desperate to spend so much on getting a defender rather Wenger can offer unsettled Arsenal captain – Thomas Vermaelen an improved deal with a promise of a decent squad rotation to keep him at the club. With that i think we would be fine in the centre of defense.