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Bayern Munich in Heavy Pursuit of Mehdi Benatia Transfer

Michael Reschke is reportedly in Rome to negotiate for the 27-year-old defender

Giuseppe Bellini

Mehdi Benatia is the replacement for Javi Martínez that Bayern Munich are trying to transfer for, according to multiple reports out of Germany.

Kicker and Sport Bild have reported Bayern's hot pursuit of the 27-year-old defender, who has played the entire preseason with AS RomaSport1 is reporting that Michael Reschke is in Rome to convince AS Roma to loosen their vice-grip on Benatia.

"I have not carried out anything for the club yet," said Reschke on Saturday. "I want to work for the first time."

Bayern's squad appeared set for the season going into the DFL Supercup, but Martínez's ACL tear has required the German champions to realign their priorities.

"We definitely need a new player," manager Pep Guardiola said in his press conference before the DFB-Pokal. "We still have 15 days and will react."

Sport Bild speculates that Benatia will cost in the neighborhood of €30 million. However, considering Roma reportedly rejected a €30 million approach from Bayern earlier this summer and Chelsea allegedly "lodged a formal bid of €37.5 million", that figure might not be entirely accurate.

Compared to recent transfer windows, Bayern have not opened the check book in this summer window. They have acquired just two Spanish players, Pepe Reina and Juan Bernat, for a combined €13 million after signing Robert Lewandowski and Sebastian Rode on free transfers. In fact, Bayern currently sit in a transfer surplus of €39 million after the sales of Toni Kroos and Mario Mandzukic to their respective Madrid clubs.

Even though it seems like a "panic buy", Bayern have done a lot of homework on Benatia. They scouted four of his Roma matches last April, and their link with the defender has remained strong over the past four months. The point in the transfer window is not alarming either, for their purchase of Martínez was completed two days before the 2012 summer transfer window closed.

AS Roma will start their 2014/15 Serie A campaign next weekend, so progressions of this deal might come quick and fast before the season ramps up.

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