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Official: Bayern snatch up Morocco’s Benatia from Roma
Mehdi Benatia has completed his move to Bayern Munich from Roma, the Bundesliga champions’ Twitter account has confirmed.
The move was accelerated after Javi Martinez was ruled out for up to six months by the Bavarians’ medical team.
Benatia impressed during his season-long stint at Roma – who finished second in the 2013/14 edition of Serie A – and as a result, major clubs from around Europe started to display interest in the big centre-back just weeks into the previous campaign.
The 27-year-old Morocco international started his career at Marseille, but limited opportunities saw him move to Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot in 2008.
Just two years later, Udinese signed Benatia after his contract with Clermont expired, and he went on to make 80 appearances in three years for the Zebrette before Roma signed him in 2013.
The €31 million transfer fee to be paid by Bayern Munich to the Giallorossi – €26 million plus a further €5 million in add-ons – means that Benatia has broken the Moroccan transfer record for the second time, after his €13.5 million transfer from Udinese to Roma in July 2013.
Mbarak Boussoufa briefly held the record when he moved to Lokomotiv Moscow a year ago, but Benatia has reclaimed the position as the most expensive Moroccan – and Arab – transfer in history.