Manchester United are launching a bid for AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia. The Daily Star says United are yet to bolster their options at centre-back following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the end of last season.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is tasked with acquiring Van Gaal's top targets and has been told by the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss to sign Benatia as well as Ajax's Daley Blind or Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo.

Chelsea are understood to still be interested in Benatia, despite Jose Mourinho's attempts to distance himself from a possible deal.

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