Moroccan international central defender Mehdi Benatia will not be sold for less than 61 million euros ($A91 million), according to AS Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini.
The 27-year-old, who is under contract till 2018 but has demanded a pay rise, has been linked with English Premier League champions Manchester City, their rivals Chelsea and Spanish league runners-up Barcelona.
“The agent (Moussa) Sissoko said he was worth 30 million euros? That is just the value of his weaker foot, the left one, therefore for the whole of Benatia he will cost double plus one million more, that is to say 61 million euros, otherwise he will stay here,” said Sabatini.
Sabatini made it clear that he had not been happy with Benatia, who was born in France but opted to play for Morocco the land of his father’s birth, going public with his demands for a pay rise.
“It is true that he wanted more money last year,” said Sabatini referring to the transfer that landed him at Roma from Udinese.
“But by renouncing the wages he had demanded logically he accepted that he wanted to be part of our project.
“I promised him a bonus and a rise, he came up with a figure and me with another.
“It is me who is in the right, and it was maladroit of him to say to the press that the sum I suggested was ridiculous.”