Barcelona have set their sights on Roma defender Kostas Manolas as a transfer target at the end of the ongoing season.

Barcelona’s defensive record this season has been the cause of some worry. Aleix Vidal’s bad spell, Samuel Umtiti’s injury and Javier Mascherano’s bad form this season are all issues that need to be sorted out by Luis Enrique sooner rather than later. After suffering losses against Alaves, Celta Vigo and a draw against Atletico Madrid, the Catalan giants currently sit on 4th place in the La Liga, 2 points behind both Atletico and Real Madrid.

TURIN, ITALY - JANUARY 24: Konstantinos Manolas of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on January 24, 2016 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

TURIN, ITALY – JANUARY 24: Konstantinos Manolas of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on January 24, 2016 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

It is no surprise that Barcelona, too, have set their sights on 25-year-old. According to Spanish publication SPORT, the Blaugrana have already made Manolas a transfer target for next season.

The report states that he is aware of the interest from the Catalan giants and told the reigning La Liga champions that he ‘would love to sign’ with them. Manchester United and Bayern Munich had spoken to him last year but Roma refused to let go of their star man.

With Samuel Umtiti getting injured during the summer and Lucas Digne departing to Barcelona, Roma couldn’t afford to let him out of their grasp this season either.

Since moving to Rome in the summer of 2014, the Greek has gone to become one of the most reliable and consistent defenders in the Serie A and the world. From his very first season with Roma, he has been a mainstay in the center of their defence and is virtually undroppable.

His performances for Il Giallorossi haven’t gone unnoticed by Europe’s top clubs and this summer, he was a target for English heavyweights, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United who were even prepared to shell out €40 million for the former Olympiakos man.

Given the steady growth of Manolas as a player and as a leader, it is unlikely that he will stay on at Roma post this season, given the number of European giants interested in his signature, and he may very well be the subject of a bidding war in the summer of 2017.

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