Benatia unhappy with Roma salary

Mehdi Benatia has expressed his disappointment at the salary increase Roma have offered him, but insists that does not mean he wants to leave the Serie A club.

The Moroccan defender has been heavily linked with Manchester City, Arsenal and Barcelona after an impressive debut season at Roma. The 27-year-old recently hinted he was tempted to move to a top European club this summer, but has now sought to play down those comments.

"I only said that anyone dreams of teams like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City," Benatia said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "I never said I wanted to leave, I want to reiterate this."

Nevertheless, Benatia admits an improved salary offer from the club has fallen short of what he had been hoping for. Benatia joined Roma from Udinese last season and has a contract with them until June 2018.

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

"My agent is doing his job, I could leave but I could also stay and finish my career at Roma," said the defender. "I'm in love with Rome, I'm very happy here, but my mistake was to be too correct with the club and too honest.

"Last summer my agent advised me to sign for Roma. The wages were lower than with respect to other offers I had. I nevertheless signed because I liked the idea and I believed in the project. I have never regretted it.

"Before I signed for Roma they (club executives) told me they knew I deserved more and that they were aware I had turned down a lot of money. They said to me, 'Come, prove that you are worthy of Roma and if we reach the Champions League or win the scudetto, we will give you a good contract'.

"Throughout the year, more than once, (Roma sporting director Walter) Sabatini said to me that we would meet at the end of the season. I believe I have proved something but the offer I have received is unacceptable.

"I've heard say that I demanded four million (euros) per year but I have not even reached the three million mark. I have only demanded more money based on a promise the club made to me, but instead it feels like the club has said, 'Here, have a bit more money', like if I was a child without going through any negotiation. I was disappointed, I deserved more respect."