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Benatia Transfer: Are Basa, Manolas Moves the Last Pins to Fall?

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With now seven central defenders reportedly in the squad, Roma might be keen to relinquish their best one.

Paolo Bruno

AS Roma have moved in on two defenders, Marko Basa from Lille OSC and Konstantinos Manolas from Olympiakos CFP, which could be a precursor to Mehdi Benatia's departure.

Basa will come on a €4 million transfer that could potentially turn into €7 million with add-ons., according to Football Italia, although the move is not considered official. Meanwhile, Manolas has completed a medical examination ahead of his reported €15 million transfer.

If the two moves are confirmed, AS Roma will have spent a net €53.7 million and have acquired two defenders to add to the five that they already have. They have acquired four center backs in total this summer, a glaring indicator that Benatia will leave the Italian capital before the transfer window closes.

Giancula di Marzio and Gazzetta dello Sport are both reporting that the deal is done in principle between Bayern Munich and Roma; a €26 million transfer with €4 million in add-ons. The €30 million price tag is one that Bayern allegedly do not want to pay though, at least according to a kicker report on Monday.

Benatia did not travel to Greece to take on AEK Athens in Roma's final tune-up before the start of the Serie A season last weekend. Bayern technical director Michael Reschke has done a mini tour around Europe searching for a replacement for Javi Martínez, but the Benatia transfer appears to be the deal with the most traction.

Manchester United and Manchester City were both linked earlier this summer to the Moroccan defender, but neither appeared to make a firm offer for him. With their €75 million transfer of Ángel di María, the Red Devils' pursuit of Benatia might have come to an end unless they planning to continue to leave their checkbooks open until the transfer window closes.

Roma play Fiorentina in four days time, so their proximity to the start of the season might speed up the transfer timeline more than the window closing would. Rest assured, the reports out of Italy will not be the last over the next few days.