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Chelsea on brink of deal for Roma defender Benatia

Chelsea are closing on a deal for AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia. The Daily Star says Blues boss Jose Mourinho wants to strengthen his defence with a move for highly-rated French-born Moroccan international.

Benatia, 27, is also being chased by Manchester United, but Chelsea are ready to seal the deal this week ahead of their first game at Burnley on Monday.

The west Londoners switched their attention to Benatia after Real Madrid indicated French defender Raphael Varane was not for sale, and with Atletico Madrid star Joao Miranda opting to remain in Spain.

Mourinho has yet to replace Brazilian David Luiz, who joined PSG this summer for £50m.

Chelsea will have to sell at least one foreign player if they sign Benatia, because they will have exceeded their allowed quota under Premier League rules.

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