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Arsenal turn attention to Serie A star as Wenger continues CB search
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Arsenal have renewed their interest in Roma defender Kostas Manolas as Arsene Wenger continues his desperate search for a centre-back.
The boss is frantically scouring the market trying to sign a new central defender after Gabriel and Per Mertesacker were ruled out with serious injuries during pre-season last month.
Our prime target is Shkodran Mustafi but Valencia are proving difficult to deal with as the Spaniard’s are reportedly demanding the full value of the German international’s £43m release clause.
Boss Pako Ayestaran also declared on Monday night that Mustafi wouldn’t be sold this summer. The Daily Mail quote him as saying:
‘Mustafi is not for sale and he will stay at Valencia. The market is open and there are still possibilities. But Mustafa is not for sale.’
So with our pursuit of Mustafi stalling, Arsene has been forced in to looking at alternatives and the Daily Mail claim we’ve now renewed our interest in Kostas Manolas.
The Greek international has been linked with Arsenal since his days at Olympiakos and the newspaper says that Wenger sent scouts to watch the 25-year-old in action during Roma’s Champions League qualifier against Porto on Tuesday.
It was a night to forget for the Italian outfit as they had two players sent off en route to a 3-0 defeat which means they’ve failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League.
This could of course work in Arsenal’s favour as Manolas will want to be playing in Europe’s elite competition but Roma are desperate to keep hold of him as any sale before September 1st will see his former club take a 50% cut of the transfer fee.
This clause expires after this summer so you can understand why the Serie A club are keen for Manolas to stay and they’ve promised him an improved contract if he stays beyond next weeks deadline.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Arsenal decide to make a formal move for the defender but time is running out for Wenger to sign the players we desperately need to make us title-challengers.
I actually think a striker is MORE important than another centre-back as at least we’ve got some cover in defence. Without Giroud, we are left having to play Sanchez or Walcott out of position or throwing Akpom in at the deep end.
With little over a week left of the summer window, let’s hope Wenger is able to bring in a top class striker and centre-back otherwise I fear we’re in for a long season….