Rumour: Arsenal AND Chelsea battle over Kostas Manolas


Arsenal and Chelsea have both offered Kostas Manolas, 25, the chance to almost treble his wages as they seek to tempt the Greek international away from AS Roma.

Arsène Wenger is a long-time admirer of the defender and is keen to bring more experience to the Gunners backline. With Per Mertesacker, 31, struggling for pace, Wenger wants Manolas to provide a more mobile partnership with French international Laurent Koscielny, 30.

There are ongoing concerns about Gabriel with the Brazilian’s poor grasp of English hindering his progress at the club.

London rivals Chelsea are also interested in the centre back, renewing their interest in a player they first tried to sign in 2015. Antonio Conte watched the player’s development with interest whilst head coach with the Italian national squad.

Roma won’t let the centre back leave without a fight. They persuaded Radja Nainggolan, 28, to stay in the Eternal City and hope that the lure of a new contract on 1st September will be enough to persuade Manolas to stay with the club beyond this transfer window.

An added complication for the Serie A giants is that until the end of August, there is a 50% sell-on fee on any fee above the €6.5m which Roma paid them in 2014 for Manolas. That significantly weakens their motivation to sell a key member of their squad.


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