A host of Premier League suitors including Arsenal have been issued a “hands off” warning by Roma, with the club slapping a €45m price tag on defender Kostas Manolas, according to Goal.com.
The Greek defender had been hotly linked with Arsenal in the summer of 2014 but the Giallorossi secured his signature for a €15m fee. The Gunners will have to potentially pay three time as much if they are to lure the 25 year old to the Emirates this summer.
Manolas’ reluctance to extend his contract at Roma has sparked a lot of speculation amid strong reported interest from the Premier League which includes the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
However with his defensive partner Antonio Rudiger ruled out for a lengthy period after tearing his cruciate ligaments in his right knee, Roma are unlikely to part with their man for anything other than an astronomical fees.
Another potential hurdle in this transfer saga is a clause in Manolas’ contract which according to Goal.com will keep Roma liable to pay Olympiacos 50% of any future transfer fee received for the Greek defender. If there is any weight to the aforementioned, Roma will be unwilling to let their star man leave easily.
The transfer will bode well for Arsenal who are in need of a reliable partner for Laurent Koscielny. Whereas the Frenchman has proven himself to be an accomplished centre half capable of rubbing shoulders with the best in the world, Arsenal are in need of an equally competent defender who can partner him at the heart of the defence.
Per Mertesacker’s performances last season were hardly convincing which resulted in Arsene Wenger demoting the World Cup winner to the bench. Gabriel Paulista on the other hand has made strides since joining Arsenal but has failed to completely win over Arsene Wenger with Calum Chambers yet to come of age.
Manolas’ addition will further add depth to Arsenal’s defence especially after Wenger was forced to field the likes of Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy in an unconventional center back position.
Manolas will add much needed grit and aerial strength to an Arsenal backline which has often been left vulnerable especially when against physical forwards. However Arsenal still lack the financial freedom enjoyed by rival clubs and it remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger will be willing to break the bank for a defender when a world class striker appears to be top priority.