Reports in the Italian media suggest United already contacted AS Roma over a €40m deal for Greece international Kostas Manolas. The 27-year-old was previously heavily linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea during his time with the Giallorossi.
Contract talks with Manolas’ agent broke down recently, leaving the centre-back looking at a future away from the Eternal City. Manchester United’s interest will soften the blow financially and from a football perspective.
Roma, however, are keen for him to see out the remainder of the season at the Stadio Olimpico with their eyes firmly focussed on the knockout stages of the Champions League.
After last season’s heroic win over Barcelona and nail-biting semi-final against Liverpool, Eusebio Di Francesco wants to go one better and reach the final. With a Round of Sixteen tie against FC Porto awaiting them, little wonder Roma fancy their chances of making progress.
After an indifferent spell in the autumn, Roma sit sixth in Serie A just two points behind bitter city rivals Lazio in fourth. While the Giallorossi are likely to lose the no-nonsense defender, there is little incentive for them to agree to a sale this winter.
United, however, are not to be deterred with Solskjaer agreeing that Mourinho’s assessment of the defenders in his squad were not of the standard required to challenge for the top four places in the Premier League.