AS Roma have reportedly told Chelsea and Manchester United to stay off Kostas Manolas’s pursuit as the Greek defender is not for sale
According to a report in The Sun, Kostas Manolas is set to stay at Stadio Olimpico beyond the summer with AS Roma issuing a hands-off warning to Chelsea and Manchester United. The Premier League duo were the only two clubs remaining in his pursuit, meaning the Greek defender is staying put.
Manolas has enjoyed a stunning rise to prominence since joining AS Roma from Olympiacos in the summer of 2014. In fact, over the course of the last three season, the Greek defender has blossomed impressively to establish himself as an instrumental figure for the Giallorossi.
This past season, Manolas was a mainstay at the back for Roma, as he made a staggering 45 appearances in all competitions for his side, playing a key role in the club’s bid for the Serie A title, even though they ended up falling short in the end.
His impressive development at Stadio Olimpico have earned Manolas a lot of admirers as well, with Chelsea and Manchester United closely following his progress for several months. The Blues, in fact, also took a decisive step in pursuit of the player by lodging an official bid to secure his services.
Antonio Conte has been eager to make reinforcements to his squad to ensure that the Blues’ grip over the Premier League title does not loosen. He has, thus, been reportedly been eyeing Manolas over a move in the summer transfer window.
Meanwhile at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has a whole host of central defenders at his disposal, with the likes of Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and the versatile Daley Blind his current options.
But, the Smalling and Jones are being heavily linked to a summer departure from Old Trafford. Should the duo leave Manchester United, a space could open up in Mourinho’s squad, which is why the Portuguese manager has probably been eyeing Manolas.
Roma, though, are firm in their stance for the player’s availability, claiming that Manolas is not for sale. The Italians will also be especially eager to keep hold of the Greece international after they sold Antonio Rudiger to Chelsea, whose acquisition might pave the way for Conte to end an interest in signing another central defender.
Manchester United, though, might have to set their sights elsewhere, or keep hold of Jones and Smalling after facing disappointment in pursuit of Manolas, who was likely to cost £35 million. It now remains to be seen if either club ends up buying another central defender this summer.