Roma’s central defender Kostas Manolas has once again emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal after the Gunners’ failure to sign Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsene Wenger has been on the lookout for a quality centre-back since the beginning of the transfer window. It looked like the Frenchman had narrowed down on Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, but the Spanish side have insisted that the German centre-back is not for sale.
This declaration from Valencia manager Pako Ayestaran seems to have turned Wenger’s attention to the Serie A, where he is reportedly keeping tabs on AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas. According to Sami Mokbel of Mail Online, an Arsenal scout was in attendance to watch Manolas’ club take on FC Porto in their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday.
The game ended with Roma down to nine men and the Portuguese side winning 3-0. Manolas may have played the entire 90 minutes, but his performance on the day was far from spectacular.
Arsenal have also been shockingly linked with former Manchester United defender Johnny Evans. The Northern Irishman is currently plying his trade for West Bromwich Albion. It is understood that an opening bid made by the Gunners for the centre-back was turned down, with manager Tony Pulis unhappy with the Gunners’ £16 million valuation of the player.
Another option for Wenger is Monaco’s highly-rated defender Marcel Tisserand. Despite being a right-back by trade, the Dutchman is versatile enough to slot in at the heart of the defence if needed. Also, being ust 23 years old, he could have a high resale value should Wenger decide to let him go in the seasons to come.
Will Manolas bolster the Arsenal back line?
Kostas Manolas would be a decent signing for Arsenal, who are desperately in need of a central defender. The Greece international is a crisp passer of the ball and rarely loses possession. He has incredible aerial prowess and is a threat in both boxes.
Also, given his relatively young age of 25, Wenger would not hesitate to pay top dollar for Manolas. After recently revealing that he is not scared to spend on a quality player, the Frenchman will have to shell out an estimated €40 million to secure the services of the Greek centre-half.
While the price may be on the higher side, the arrival of a defender of Manolas’ calibre is bound to have a positive impact on the fans and will also strengthen Arsenal’s back line. After having shipped in four goals against Liverpool on the opening weekend, it seems that signing a world-class defender is going to be the top priority for the Gunners this summer.