Pallotta: Benatia was poison

Roma President James Pallotta has released a strongly worded statement hitting out at Mehdi Benatia and accusing him of lying.

Roma President James Pallotta has released a strongly worded statement hitting out at Mehdi Benatia and accusing him of lying.

The defender suggested in an interview with Kicker released today that he had intended to stay with the Giallorossi this summer and that it was the club’s requirement to raise funds that resulted in his eventual sale to Bayern Munich for an initial €26m.

However, the capital club’s President has taken exception to these claims and chosen to react through a statement released via Roma’s official website, to explain his version of why the 27-year-old was moved on.

“Mehdi Benatia has obviously continued with his pattern of outright fabrications over the last couple of months,” Pallotta is quoted by I Lupi.

“We had a verbal agreement on compensation and a raise back in July in Boston. He personally said to me that he was happy after I told him flat out with no exceptions that we wanted him to stay. 

“Over the following month he lied about wanting to stay and about the details of his compensation to both Rudi Garcia and his teammates. 

“Lying to me was one thing which I can somewhat handle. Lying to Rudi Garcia and his teammates was completely unacceptable to me. 

“I told Walter Sabatini he was becoming a poison and I wanted him gone, and Rudi and Walter agreed. 

“It wasn’t about the money; it was about having character in our locker room. We are in a very sound financial position. 

“As owners of Roma, we make difficult decisions all the time. As a fan of Roma, I am deeply disappointed that one of our players could act this way.”

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