Chelsea have been handed a major boost in pursuit of AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas, whose move to Zenit St. Petersburg has reportedly stalled.
According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have received a major boost in their pursuit of Kostas Manolas. The AS Roma defender’s proposed £26 million summer move to Zenit St. Petersburg has stalled as he has failed to agree personal terms with the Russian club.
Manolas has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Serie A ever since he made the move to AS Roma from Olympiacos in the summer of 2014. In fact, the player has been one of the rock solid pillars for the Giallorossi over the last three years, during which they have transformed themselves into genuine contenders for the Serie A title.
2016/17 was another fruitful season for Manolas as he played 45 matches in all competitions for Roma. And while the club fell short in their bid to win the league title, the player impressed with his composure and presence at the back.
LATEST: No medical for Manolas this morning. The defender is now having doubts over the move. pic.twitter.com/rQXMbJgP0V
— Flo-Calcio AS Roma (@CalcioASRoma) June 28, 2017
Having progressed significantly since making the switch to Stadio Olimpico, the interest in the Greek defender has grown as well. In fact, the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Inter Milan were heavily linked with Manolas in the winter transfer window before any move failed to materialise.
While the aforementioned trio have ended their interest in the 26-year-old, Chelsea and Zenit are doing everything they can to secure his services this summer. Chelsea have, in fact, held a long-term interest in Manolas and they were reportedly in the market for him last summer as well but failed to land him.
Antonio Conte, though, is back in the market for Manolas as he is believed to be eager to bolster his central defensive options ahead of the 2017/18 season. The Chelsea boss currently relies on Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill as his first-choice options in his team’s back-three.
Beyond the trio, however, Conte’s options are limited, with the inexperienced duo of Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake – the duo are being heavily linked to a summer exit from Stamford Bridge – the only current players available as cover to the first-choice trio.
On top of that, the future of Andreas Christensen, who is set to return after his loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach, is up in the air as well. In such a scenario, the Italian manager’s need to sign a centre-back has accentuated manifold.
Hence, Manolas has been identified as the viable solution in defence for the Blues. Moreover, the player’s experience of playing in a back-three is another aspect that can potentially make him an asset at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, though, seemed to be fighting a losing battle in their pursuit of Manolas as Zenit looked set to sign him in a £26 million deal. The player was set to undergo a medical at the Russian club soon. But, the move has stalled as he has failed to agree personal terms with them.
Zenit have struggled to find a replacement for Ezequiel Garay since his departure from the Krestovsky Stadium last summer, and they reportedly saw Manolas as the player to add steel to their back-line.
The complication in the move, though, has handed Chelsea a boost, who are set to go all out for the player in the summer transfer window. It now remains to be seen if the Blues are able to steal a march on Zenit in pursuit of Manolas.