Rabat - Mehdi Benatia will not be left out during the summer mercato (transfer window). The captain of the national team has already attracted the interest of big clubs, including l’Olympique Marseille, and now he is being eyed by Arsenal.
Rabat – Mehdi Benatia will not be left out during the summer mercato (transfer window). The captain of the national team has already attracted the interest of big clubs, including l’Olympique Marseille, and now he is being eyed by Arsenal.
After being courted by l’OM, its manager Rudi Garcia and its president Andoni Zubizarreta, who is ready to offer EUR 25 million for his skills, Benatia has another club ready to fight for him.
However, the French-Moroccan footballer player made it clear that he does not want to be recruited for now by the French club where he was formed. “I really like Rudi Garcia and his staff. But no, all that is said … I still have two years of contract. My priority is the World Cup. And we’ll see what’s best for me, for my club,” said Benatia to RMC Sport.
Hope for Arsenal?
According to Italian sport outlet Corriere dello Sport, OM could be outshined by competitor Arsenal and its president Unai, who is ready to line up numbers during the transfer window for the Atlas Lion.
The newly appointed head of the Gunners, Unai Emery has set his sights on the Juventus defender coming off an accomplished season with a respectable profile in the Premier League.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Unai intends to personally interfere in the negotiations, as evidence of his willingness to recruit Benatia. Unai wants to fill Arsenal’s defensive sector, a priority of his for many seasons.
To convince Benatia to leave the Juve, Arsenal will have to be very convincing, especially since the Atlas Lion is very attached to the Italian club where he won the Italian Cup earlier this month.
Mehdi Benatia’s contract with Juve expires in 2020 and Allegri is counting on his defender to come out of a full season.
Benatia, 31, has spent most of his career in Italy, where he has played for Udinese, AS Roma, and Juventus. He joined the latter on loan from German football giant Bayern Munich.
Earlier this year, Benatia was voted best Maghreb player in 2017 by France Football, ahead of Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech.
World Cup first
With the 2018 World Cup in Russia coming soon, Benatia must not be distracted by the transfer window. The national captain is busy training in Switzerland where he will battle against Ukraine in a friendly pre-World Cup game on Thursday night.
“EL Capitano” is confident about taking the Atlas Lions all the way in the competition. In an interview with France 24, he said that he sees himself in the finals as he wants to make Moroccans proud of the Atlas Lions. “I want the Moroccan supporter to be happy in the streets of Moscow,” he added.