AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas remains a Chelsea target, despite the Blues’ failure to land him in the summer

The current Premier League leaders were linked to a number of defenders in the months leading up to the summer transfer window and during it as well, as they looked to avoid a repeat of the previous campaign.

AS Roma center-back and Greek international was one of the big names from the club frequently linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, alongside Radja Nainggolan and Antonio Rudiger. He was also subject to interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United as well, but the none of them came to fruition.

Chelsea eventually settled for David Luiz and Marcos Alonso on the final day of the transfer window, and in the space of 2 months, Antonio Conte has managed to make them title favourites.

Since switching to a 3-4-3 system in October, Chelsea have conceded two goals from open play, one scored by Christian Eriksen, the other a Gary Cahill own goal. Despite managing to turn things around in such spectacular fashion, Chelsea are still looking for more quality personnel in defence.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - OCTOBER 26: Kostas Manolas of Roma in action during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AS Roma at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on October 26, 2016 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY – OCTOBER 26: Kostas Manolas of Roma in action during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AS Roma at Mapei Stadium – Citta’ del Tricolore on October 26, 2016 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. (Photo courtesy Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

According to a report by Italian publication Calciomercato, the 25-year-old remains a target for Antonio Conte. The report states that the former Juventus boss and Chelsea owner roman Abramovich are still looking to add defensive reinforcements to the squad and Manolas is a player that is still a target for the them.

The Blues were one of the many clubs linked with the player, but Roma managed to fend off interest and keep him at the Stadio Olimpico for another season.

However, Chelsea will likely face a lot of competition from European clubs when the January transfer window opens, and even in the summer with Barcelona rumoured to be planning a summer swoop for the Greek international. The center-back even refused a contract extension in October from the Giallorossi, in spite of being offered a hefty pay rise.

His current contract runs till 2019 and Roma will be desperate to hold on to him for as long as they can, given him ever growing importance to Luciano Spalletti’s squad.

He has made 17 appearances this season and is the undisputed leader of this Roma defence. With the departure of Lucas Digne in the summer and the injury to Antonio Rudiger, he has held down the fort brilliantly and in October, made his 100th appearance for the Serie A giants.

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