Mehdi Benatia greeted the news that Bayern Munich had been drawn in the same Champions League group as former club Roma with delight. "I'm so happy. I wished for us to play them so badly so that I could see my friends again." However, ahead of Benatia's return to the Italian capital on Tuesday night, one wonders just how many friends he has left at the Stadio Olimpico.
The defender certainly won't be greeted with open arms by Roma president James Pallotta and sporting director Walter Sabatini - both of whom have publicly berated Benatia for the manner of his departure for Bavaria just before the close of the summer transfer window.
Indeed, this has been one of the most bitter break-ups the game has seen in some time, with both parties blaming the other. In such circumstances, it's hard to know with whom to side. All we know for certain is that on August 26 Benatia joined Bayern from Roma for a fee of around €28 million plus bonuses. However, precisely why the centre-half was sold remains the subject of much debate.
Benatia claims that he was effectively forced out of the club, offloaded because of an alleged need to raise capital in order to meet Financial Fair Play requirements.
"I discussed my future with Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini," the 27-year-old stated on September 8. "He told me that the club wanted to hold on to me, but that they needed the money from a sale.
"That annoyed me, because I initially wanted to stay put." Read the rest here
A few texts between Bayern Munich and Roma AC
OP here: Sorry about the pic spam. I thought these tweets were cute. Um, nothing else to report, tbh. Thiago will be doing surgery in Spain, and Guardiola warns against complacency. Oh! Actually Bastian Schweinsteiger should be back in training circa November 22 here. It's also been reported on Sky News 1. .