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Bayern agree deal with Roma for Benatia

AS Roma's French defender Al Mouttaqui Mehdi Amine Benatia celebrating after scoring on August 26, 2014

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AS Roma's French defender Al Mouttaqui Mehdi Amine Benatia celebrating after scoring on August 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte )

Berlin (AFP) - German champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday announced an agreement with Serie A side Roma for a deal to take Moroccan international defender Mehdi Benatia to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern said that the two clubs have agreed not to disclose the fee for the 27-year-old French-born centre-back, although Italian media reports on Tuesday estimated that Roma will receive around 30 million euros (£23.9m, $39.6m).

That would be made up of 26 million euros initially, with a further four million in potential bonuses.

The Bundesliga giants had been searching for defensive reinforcements after losing Javi Martinez until the end of the calendar year when he suffered a serious knee injury in the recent defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the German SuperCup.

In addition, Brazilian right-back Rafinha is out with an ankle injury and Bayern are also having to deal with the absences of Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Benatia, who started his career in the lower leagues in France before flourishing in Serie A with Udinese and then Roma, is expected to have a medical in Bavaria in the coming days before signing a five-year contract, Bayern said.

He joined Roma last year from Udinese on a contract through to 2018.

Bayern began the new Bundesliga season with a 2-1 win against Wolfsburg last Friday. They travel to Schalke this coming Saturday evening.

Roma are expected to replace Benatia with Greek international defender Kostas Manolas of Olympiakos, who was in the Italian capital on Tuesday to undergo a medical before penning a five-year deal for a reported fee of 13 million euros.

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