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The Premier League champions are set to abandon their pursuit of Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and offer the Roma defender the chance to double his current £45k-a-week wages

By Paul Clennam

Manchester City will make formal contact with Roma in the next 24 hours and submit a £25 million bid for Mehdi Benatia, Goal understands.

Goal revealed earlier this month that the Premier League champions were set to turn their attention to the Morocco international following the ongoing complications with regards to their long-term pursuit of Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala.

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City are now set to offer the 27-year-old a lucrative deal worth 90k-a-week that would see the former Udinese man double his current earnings.

Coach Rudi Garcia has ruled out selling a player who only joined Roma last summer but the player himself has hinted he could seek a move away after admitting his disappointment after receiving an “unacceptable proposal” from the club.

He said: “I never said I want to leave. But Roma have not kept their promises. They had told me that they would make me a new contract offer if I had a great season.

"But I have received an unacceptable proposal, less than €3 million per season. I replied that I would not sign it.

"I'm in love with Rome, I'm very fine here but my mistake was to be too correct with the club and too honest."

Regarding speculation about him leaving, he added: "I only said that anyone dreams of teams like Real, Bayern and [Manchester] City.

"My agent is doing his job, I could leave but I could also stay and finish my career in Roma. But I was disappointed [with the new wage offer], I deserved more respect."

City's attempted double move for Mangala and Fernando, which they first launched back in January, has hit a snag over third party ownership, with Porto owning only 56.67 per cent of the defender's rights, and 90 per cent of the Brazilian midfielder's.

Manuel Pellegrini is still expected to complete a deal for Fernando for around £12 million but has now firmly turned his attention to Benatia in preference to 23-year-old Frenchman Mangala as he attempts to add defensive reinforcements to his squad.

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