sport

Garcia firm over Benatia

Roma coach Rudi Garcia has ruled out selling star defender Mehdi Benatia and played down talk of a move for Hugo Lloris this summer

Benatia joined Roma from Udinese last season and is now rated as one of the best defenders in Serie A after a sterling campaign.

Barcelona and Manchester City are widely reported to be competing to sign the 27-year-old, who is valued at over 30million.

However, Garcia insists that Roma are not looking to let the Morocco international leave, telling L'Equipe: "I hope we will be able to keep our best players.

"The extension for Miralem Pjanic is a strong signal: we want to keep our group and reinforce it.

"Mehdi Benatia has four years remaining on his contract and has no option to leave. So he will remain a Roma player next term.

"The fact clubs are attracted to him is logical considering this season.

"Our objective this summer is to not add to the wage bill, but logically we should not need to sell.

"We have to have the means to go on being in competition with Juventus and be good in the Champions League."

Lloris

Reports in France have linked Garcia with a bid for Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but he has also played this down.

He added: "He is a fantastic keeper. But Morgan De Sanctis is too and our number two Lucasz Skorupski will have a bright future. So it is not a position where we will try to find any reinforcements."

Garcia was also asked about his own future at Roma, given he has just one year left on his current deal.

"I will remain here next season. The team will be on tour in the USA next week, where our main sponsor is and we will find time to talk.

"There is no emergency, I am under contract (until 2015). I have faith in the club's project and I am fine here. I want to stay."