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Man City encouraged in bid for Roma defender Benatia

Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit of AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia.

The Manchester Evening News says Moroccan Benatia, 27, fits the bill and he appears to be open to a move to Manchester, listing City as one of three clubs it would be a 'dream' to play for, along with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Benatia told a Moroccan website that contract talks had not gone well and while he was happy at Roma, at 27 he had to think of his future.

He added: "Today there are clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern, Manchester City - teams that are the dream of any footballer."

Benatia is rated at around £25m and would push to be first-choice partner to Vincent Kompany, ahead of Martin Demichelis and the fit-again Matija Nastasic.

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