Chelsea Offered Manolas Opportunity

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Chelsea‘s search for a central defender received a boost when long-term target, Kostas Manolas, saw his £26m move to Zenit St Petersburg stall, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The AS Roma defender regularly attracts attention from the Premier League and down the years has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal. Now however, it is Antonio Conte being suggested as a potential suitor.

A Greek international with 29 caps to his name, it’s no surprise that he is leaving the Italian capital.

During the recent World Cup Qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Manolas traded blows with his Roma team-mate Edin Dzeko. That was the precursor to further trouble post-match between both sides. Unconfirmed reports at the time suggested it was a legacy from a difference of opinion at the end of last season.

Dzeko was the club’s top scorer as they finished second to Juventus in Serie A, so it was no surprise that Manolas, a centre back, is being sacrificed.

Chelsea tried to prise the Greek from Roma last summer but were left in no doubt that the central defender was not for sale. What a difference a year makes; the Blues were willing to spend £40m-plus on him. Now they are set to land him at a cut-price if Zenit cannot resolve the dispute over his wages which threatens to derail the deal.