Manchester United transfer news: Bayern Munich set to beat Louis van Gaal's Red Devils to Mehdi Benatia capture - reports

Problems mount up for van Gaal as former club Bayern scupper his plans

Manchester United could be set for more frustration in the transfer market after reports in Germany suggested Bayern Munich have beaten their former manager Louis van Gaal to the signature of Roma star Mehdi Benatia.

According to Bild, the Bundesliga champions have moved swiftly to find a replacement for Javi Martínez after the former Athletic Bilbao man sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Reports had previously suggested that Benatia was close to a £24m switch to Old Trafford, with Sky Sports News HQ running with the story for most of the weekend, but Bayern have emerged as the new favourites.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho is also believed to have held an interest earlier in the summer but the £27m outlay spent on Cesc Fàbregas makes any move for Benatia seem unlikely.

Read more: United willing to offer Nani in Rojo deal?
Young catches bird droppings in mouth while shouting at defence
Rooney has attributes to be a great leader, says Neville

The Blues boss has been a long-term admirer of the 27-year-old's abilities after attempting to take him to Stamford Bridge during his first spell with the London club.

Video: Latest transfer talk  

The Moroccan opted to remain with Olympique de Marseille, however, after fears of homesickness.

After eventually securing a switch abroad, initially with Udinese, Benatia has proven to be popular with Italian supporters - making 80 appearances for his former employers before moving to Roma.

United boss van Gaal is becoming increasingly aware of his squad's deficiencies after the 2-1 Premier League opening day defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal watches on from the sidelines Louis van Gaal watches on from the sidelines during the defeat to Swansea City Goals from Ki Sung-yueng and Gylfi Sigurðsson gave Gary Monk's side victory as any optimism which Red Devils fans may have had for the new season burst rather dramatically.

The former Ajax and Barcelona head coach also remains interested in Sporting Lisbon's Argentina international Marcos Rojo and are reportedly willing to make Nani a makeweight in any deal which may be struck between the two parties.

The 24-year-old full-back was forced to apologise to Sporting supporters in an interview on the club’s official television channel on Sunday night for trying to force through the move.

"I was hot-headed and I'm sorry," he said. "I'll be back with the rest of the Sporting squad tomorrow (Monday)."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine