Arsenal’s hunt for a new defender looked to be all but over when Shkodran Mustafi signed for the north London outfit back in August. But despite the German’s incredible start to life in England, manager Arsene Wenger could be set to add to his back-four with the acquisition of Roma’s centre-back Kostas Manolas.
The Gunners reportedly had a bid of £36m turned down in the summer for the Greek international, but talks of a contract extension at his current club have hit a stumbling block as Manolas isn’t happy with the offer currently on the table.
The 25-year old’s current contract runs out in 2019. But given the interest in him, Roma are keen to tie him down to a longer deal to either fend off potential suitors or to demand a bigger fee than the £21m he’s currently valued at on transfermarkt.co.uk.
Current terms in the defender’s contract would also mean that whatever the Italian outfit were to receive for the player, they’d have to hand over half of the fee to the player’s former club, Olympiacos.
Manolas played a key role in last season’s third-place finish, appearing in 37 of Roma’s 38 league games, and I Giallorossi have kept an impressive 23 clean sheets in league games where the centre-half has featured since arriving at the Stadio Olimpico back in 2014.
While the defensive pairing of Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have hardly put a foot wrong so far this season, a quick look at alternative options will tell you that Wenger could be in big trouble should one of the aforementioned names get injured.
And with Per Mertesacker thought to be leaving the Emirates at the end of the season, there’s certainly room in Arsenal’s squad for another powerful force at the back.
However, the Gunners could face stiff competition for Manolas’ signature from Premier League rivals Chelsea, as Antonio Conte is desperate to add some stability to a somewhat shaky defence of late.
And given that the Blues boss knows Serie A like the back of his hand, there’s a chance the Roma man might lean towards a move to Stamford Bridge come next summer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing