A.S. Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has placed a €61 million price-tag on centre-back Mehdi Benatia ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Morocco international, who joined Roma from Udinese for €13.5 million last summer, enjoyed a magnificent debut campaign at the Stadio Olimpico — tallying five goals in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Italian Serie A runners-up.
Benatia’s stellar form has caught the attention of a host of European heavyweights, including the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City.
That being said, it would take a massive offer to force Roma to cash in on the highly-rated defender, as the player is contracted to the club until 30 June 2018.
The ‘number’ is a whopping €61 million, as previously mentioned.
“Benatia is a great footballer with a contract that expires in four years,” Sabatini told reporters.
“He is not for sale.
“I believe that Mehdi has been influenced by his agent [Moussa] Sissoko. He speaks of [a price of] €30 million, so we need at least 60, maybe even 61. Anyone who wants Benatia will have to pay €61 million.”
In other news, Sabatini also confirmed the club’s interest in Argentine winger Juan Manuel Iturbe, while revealing long-time servant Rodrigo Taddei is set to leave Rome when his contract expires at the end of June.
“We are interested in Iturbe and I’ve already met one of his agents. We’re following him but it is a complex negotiation,” added the Roma supremo.
“Taddei? We think he’s finished his time at Roma. This choice pains me, but I thank him for what he has done for Roma.”
Marquinhos will decide future after Toulon Tournament
Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos has revealed he will decide his long-term future after the 2014 Toulon Tournament in France.
Marquinhos, 20, moved from Roma to PSG in a deal worth €31.4 million in July 2013 but his future in the French capital remains uncertain due to the pending arrival of compatriot David Luiz — for a reported fee of £50 million — last week.
Despite ongoing rumours linking him with an exit from the Parc des Princes, the 20-year-old stopper insists he will wait until the conclusion of the Toulon Tournament to decide his future.
“I’m very focused on this championship. It’s important to me, to wear the Brazil shirt,” Marquinhos told Globo Esporte.
“This group is strong and we want to be champions.
“I always want to evolve and grow but I need to talk to my agent and PSG about my future.
“I’m pleased Barca think of me. It proves I’m doing my job on the pitch.
“When I’ve finished this tournament I’ll speak with my agent and PSG and we will decide on my future.”
The 42nd edition of the Toulon Tournament will conclude on 1 June, with holders Brazil set to face hosts France in the final at the Parc des Sports in Avignon.