Barcelona step up Mehdi Benatia interest?

Mehdi Benatia of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AS Roma at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on December 1, 2013
© Getty Images
A report claims that Barcelona are still chasing Roma defender Mehdi Benatia.

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is still reportedly a transfer target for Barcelona this summer, despite suggestions that the Spanish club had dropped their interest.

The 27-year-old is currently one of the most sought-after centre-backs in European football, with a number of clubs believed to hold a strong interest in his services.

Roma boss Rudi Garcia said last week that the experienced defender was not for sale, but according to Sport, Barca are still hopeful that a deal can be reached.

It is understood that Roma will consider offers in the region of £25m for the Moroccan international.

Benatia's current deal in Italy expires in 2018.

AS Roma French coach Rudi Garcia gestures during their Italian Serie A football match against Sampdoria in Rome's Olympic stadium on February 16, 2014
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