Arsenal are preparing to splash out £52 million to add a star reinforcement to their back-line, and Kostas Manolas is the latest of Arsene Wenger’s prime targets. However, the AS Roma man will not come for a cheap price.
Arsenal were linked with a move for Manolas during the summer, but the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger instead opted to splash £35million on Shkodran Mustafi. Manolas has since enjoyed a fine season at Roma, helping them up to second in the Serie A table. The Greek international’s displays in Italy have led to talk that even Manchester United and Chelsea want to snap him up.
Jose Mourinho is said to want the defender as well as Benfica’s Victor Lindelof. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been backed to sign Manolas as a replacement for John Terry.
However, Italian media (Corriere della Sera) suggest that Arsene Wenger is ready to muscle in on the two League heavyweight’s bid to sign the defender as he is on the lookout for a new defender to replace Per Mertesacker. Mertesacker was appointed as club captain last summer but, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season, he is expected to return to Germany.
Manolas, 25, is under contract at Roma until 2019 – meaning a huge bid will have to be made to test their resolve. His impressive performances mean that he is likely to command a fee of £52million which could see him become the world’s most expensive defender.
David Luiz currently holds the record after joining Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea for £50million in 2014, while John Stones moved to Manchester City from Everton for £47.5million in the summer.
The Gunners need a stronger defence if they are to fight for Premier League honours and Manolas is debatably one of the best defenders in the world who could help them achieve that feat.