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May 28, 2014

Benatia: Roma treating me like a child

Medhi Benatia believes Roma have made an
Medhi Benatia believes Roma have made an "unacceptable" offer despite their promises at the start of the season.

Roma defender Medhi Benatia has accused the Serie A club of disrespecting him, with a move abroad looking increasingly likely for the Morocco international.

- De Martinis: Benatia talk disrespectful

Barcelona and Manchester City are both reportedly interested in the 27-year-old, who still has four years left to run on a deal he signed with the Giallorossi last summer when he arrived from Udinese.

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Benatia claims Roma have reneged on an agreement they made 12 months ago.

"Last summer, my agent advised me against signing for Roma -- their offer was a lot lower than other offers I had, and they weren't playing in Europe," Benatia said. "I signed anyway and I've never regretted it. They had a project and I was attracted by the idea.

"[Director of sport Walter] Sabatini looked me in the eyes and thanked me. During the season, he kept telling me how happy he was with my attitude, saying we'd sit down again at the end of the season.

"We had an agreement. Before signing me, Roma said: 'Bena, we know you're worth more and you've turned down a lot of money. Come and prove to us you are a Roma player and if we qualify for the Champions League or win the scudetto, we'll give you a nice contract.' But they've made me an unacceptable offer.

"I've heard people saying I demanded four million euros [a season], but they didn't even get close to offering me three. They said to me, 'Here, you can have this little bit more,' treating me like a child."

Benatia missed only one game for Roma last season, due to suspension, and proved to be a reliable figure at the heart of Rudi Garcia's defence.

He is one of the cornerstones of the side Garcia hopes will be competitive in Serie A and in Europe next season, along with Miralem Pjanic, who recently signed a new contract with the Giallorossi after turning down their first offer.

Benatia insists he is not trying to use Pjanic's situation to his advantage.

"I've never compared myself with Mire -- the strongest midfielder in the world," the defender added. "I've never asked for money based on what he's earning. It's all purely about a promise that was made."

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