Arsenal and United handed boost in Benatia pursuit

Arsenal and Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of defensive reinforcements after Roma cancelled a meeting with Bayern Munich over Mehdi Benatia, the Daily Star is reporting.

Benatia had reportedly made it clear to Roma bosses that he wanted to join up with the German Champions – who lost Javi Martinez for the majority of the season last weekend.

Pep Guardiola is desperate to land the centre back after Martinez tore anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his knee against Borussia Dortmund and a meeting had been scheduled between the two clubs.

But now Roma director Walter Sabatini will not make the trip after chiefs were unhappy with what the German Champions were offering for the 27-year-old Morrocan.

The Italian club want close to £30m for the defender while Bayern were offering £24m – leaving the door open for United and Arsenal to make a move.

Despite being resigned to losing one of their stars they are determined to get their asking price, and have held talks with both the Premier League clubs.

Both have lost defenders this summer, with Thomas Vermaelen leaving Arsenal and Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand departing Old Trafford.

Benatia had previously been linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool too.

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