Thursday June 13 2013
I’m joining Roma, says Benatia

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Mehdi Benatia has confirmed he is on the verge of leaving Udinese for Roma. “I turned down offers from Champions League clubs.”

The Moroccan international was a wanted man this summer, but he’s been convinced by the project in the capital.

“I haven’t signed yet,” the defender told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m just waiting for Roma to sort out the details with Udinese. But I have given my word to Roma.

“Others clubs? I don’t want to mention any names, but I turned down the chance to play in the Champions League.

“I also rejected offers from two Italian clubs who were chasing me.”

Benatia, who is understood to have been on Napoli’s transfer radar, was also asked about his characteristics.

“I’ve always played as a right-sided centre-back in a back-four, but I was also taught how to play in the back-three in Udine,” he continued. “I know how to adapt.

“Am I a hard defender? I’ve never been sent off in my career, even if I have been close a thousand times because a defender can’t just watch an opponent dribble past you.

“A defender has to attack, he has to frighten.”

It is understood that the player will cost the Giallorossi around €6.5m in cash. At least one Roma player will also head to Udine as part of the deal.

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