Roma splashes on Benatia

The defender has joined the capital-based club from Udinese on a five-year deal, with Valerio Verre and Nicolas Lopez going in the other direction

Roma has clinched the signing of defender Mehdi Benatia from Udinese for 13.5 million euros.

The 26-year-old trained with his new teammates in Trigoria on Saturday prior to the deal's completion after being granted permission to do so by Udinese and joins on a five-year deal.

Benatia, a Morocco international, spent time at the National Institute of Football in Clairefontaine as a youngster and has also played for Olympique de Marseille and Clermont.

Roma's official website gushed praise on the new signing: "An imposing center back... Mehdi Benatia is a lot more than just muscle.

"His stature is certainly a great asset for the position he plays in - he rarely gets beaten in the air or in one-on-one situations - but he's also well equipped in the skill department.

"He's got a useful right foot on him and is known to hit the back of the net."

In a financial statement, the club also confirmed that Valerio Verre (2.5 million euros) and Nicolas Lopez (1 million euros) will go in the opposite direction and join Udinese.