Chelsea looks set to beat Manchester United in the chase to sign Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia from Roma for an estimated £30 million fee, Daily Star reports.

With the huge £50 million departure of David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain, Jose Mourinho was attempting to bring French international Raphael Varane to Stamford Bridge.

However, with Real Madrid unwilling to sell their young defender, the Blues boss has instead made advances moves to bring the Moroccan defender to England instead.

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The 27-year-old was also heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, but Mourinho is hopeful that he can complete the switch before his side’s first league game of the new campaign against Burnley.

If the Portuguese manager can land the Serie A star, he will need to offload at least one player in order to comply with the Premier League rules and regulations over the amount of foreign stars he is allowed to register.

Petr Cech is a possible candidate with Real Madrid currently monitoring his situation since the return of Thibaut Courtois from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid.

Elsewhere, John Obi Mikel could also be sent towards the exit with the boss revealing that he may not feature in his plans.

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