Wednesday May 28 2014
‘Perhaps Roma want to sell Benatia’

Mehdi Benatia’s agent has explained that he advised the player not to sign for Roma in the first place, as he comments ‘perhaps they want to sell him’.

The 27-year-old increased speculation over his future at the club last week with comments released and has explained today that he feels ‘disappointed’ by a contract renewal offer.

For his representative, the situation centres on those talks and not a reputed desire to engineer a transfer out.

“I do not understand all this noise. Mehdi has never said that he wanted to leave Roma,” Moussa Sissoko has told the Corriere dello Sport today.

“In Rome he is loved, admired by the fans, taken in. He will stay here, if Roma wants him.

“They made an offer to renew his contract, we rejected it. As Benatia has said in the interview that has caused everyone to comment. Nothing else.”

Sissoko explained that he had advised Benatia not to accept the Giallorossi’s original offer to sign 12 months ago from Udinese.

“When we received the salary proposal from Roma, I was against him signing. It was Mehdi who insisted, looking into [director general Mauro] Baldissoni’s eyes and saying: ‘Okay, now I sign this. But if I play a crazy season, at the end of the year we will agree a new contract’.

“Roma accepted this, appreciating the spirit. Only now, things have changed. Roma have known that from January Benatia has had offers from half of Europe.

“Barcelona, Bayern, Manchester City or Chelsea? There are others. Very large clubs. All the teams who are looking for a great central defender. Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, for example.

“His valuation? If David Luiz has cost €50m, then I believe that €30m would be a fair assessment.

“Will he play at Roma next season? No, I cannot promise that. But perhaps it is Roma that want to sell Benatia.

“Is there a new appointment for renewal talks? Not at the moment. And if Roma does not want to renew the contract and intends to keep Mehdi until 2017? We shall see. Roma hold his registration.”

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