Harsh words from Roma president James Pallotta. Roma’s owner responded to Benatia’s disparaging words after he left the giallorossi through Roma’s official website:
“It’s evident that Mehdi Benatia continued to build his castle of inventions in the last few months. This passed July, in Boston, we reached a verbal agreement that foresaw an increased salary. After having made clear to him that we wanted that he stayed with us he told me that he was very happy to stay. Over the course of the next month he lied to both [AS Roma coach] Rudi Garcia and to his team mates on his willingness to stay with Roma and on the quantum of his salary increase. I can deal with the fact that he lied to me, but lying to Garcia and his team mates is unacceptable”, Pallotta thundered.
“I told [AS Roma Director of Football] Walter Sabatini that he was poisoning the dressing room and that I wanted him out. Both Rudi and Walter agreed with me. It wasn’t a question of money, but it’s a question of personality inside the dressingroom. Our financial position is very solid. As owners of Roma we are constantly asked to make difficult decisions. As a Roma fan I am deeply disappointed that a player of ours behaved in such fashion”, Roma’s boss concluded.
Benatia was transferred to Bayern Munich for €26 million (plus €4 million for appearance-based bonuses) on the second last day of the summer transfer window.