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Kicker: Roma Would Sell Benatia to Bayern for €25 Million

With Dortmund reportedly set to acquire Ginter, Bayern may need to match the sticker price in order to sure up defense

Paolo Bruno

AS Roma, whose Serie A title chase came to an abrupt end on Sunday, has set their price tag for defender Mehdi Benatia at €25 million, according to kicker.

Apart from the game, kicker found out that the American owners would be quite ready to steep wooed defender Mehdi Benatia for around 25 million Euro to interested FC Bayern.

Bayern München allegedly scouted the 27-year-old during four matches back in March. Benatia is having perhaps his best season in Serie A after transfering from Udinese for €13.5 million, transforming into one of the best all-around defenders in Italy.

The Bundesliga champions have conceded 18 goals in the 11 matches they have played in all competitions since clinching the league title, an astronomical rate considering the 26 they surrendered in the 45 matches prior. Pep Guardiola utilized mostly Dante and Jerome Boateng, sprinkling in Daniel van Buyten and Diego Contento, for most of Bayern's clean sheets. Once van Buyten needed to miss time due to a back injury, Guardiola converted Javi Martinez into a center back in order to beef up the thin defensive depth.

Turnover will inevitably come in the summer for Bayern, even if the current quality is enough for Guardiola to work with. Daniel van Buyten, who is available on a free transfer, is linked with a move to 1. FC Köln, and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Diego Contento that he will be allowed to leave.

"I told his agent Wiggerl Kögl: if Contento wants to leave, then we will negotiate," Rummenigge said last week.

For that reason, Bayern will need to acquire at least one replacement defender. Benatia is one of several center backs rumored to be on Bayern's radar, although one of them is no longer an option. Kicker also is reporting that SC Freiburg's Matthias Ginter, linked previously to Bayern, is just a transfer fee away from joining Borussia Dortmund as the two sides have agreed on a contract. "My decision stands," said Ginter.

The most Bayern has ever spent on a defender was €14 million on Marcell Jansen, and the club sold him a year later €8 million the next year. While Martínez has spent time in the center of defense, his original purpose upon his €40 million purchase was for him to protect the defense from midfield.

Spending more that €20 million on Benatia would be a first for Bayern, but considering their ascension in club status, the amount in their check books may have risen as well.

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