We shift our discussion from ultimatums to awesome defenders. While many of us are quite enamored with Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rüdiger, and they may very well prove to be a top tandem in several seasons, neither one of them can hold a candle to Mehdi Benatia at this point in their respective careers. And sure, they're far from Roma's only problems in defense, but Walter Sabatini has deemed beefing up the backline job number one during the winter transfer window.
We all remember the Benatia story: Roma snapped him up from Udinese for €13.5 million in the summer of 2013 only to sell him a year later to Bayern Munich for roughly €26 million. While that tidy profit was great for the bottom line, and enabled the club to make several other purchases, it left a gaping hole in the back of Roma's defense and robbed Leandro Castan of his bosom buddy.
Shaky defense or not, if Benatia is indeed on the market—which his lack of playing time seems to indicate—and Roma has the means to do so, you make this purchase every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Benatia would immediately reclaim his starting spot in Garcia's XI, providing relief and serving as a role model for Roma's young defenders in the process.
Il Messaggero claims that Benatia is front and center if Walter Sabatini's winter wishlist, which reportedly includes at least one midfielder (reportedly Sevilla's Ever Banega), a healthy Kevin Strootman and not one but two fullbacks.
While there is no word where these funds are coming from or how much it will all cost, one can safely presume Munich will at least want to recoup their investment, but considering that these two clubs just brokered this sale 18 months ago, it could make for an interesting negotiation.
Roma seldom goes big in the winter transfer window, but if Benatia is available, you absolutely have to make this move.