Chelsea ready to pay €38m for defensive linchpin and Conte favourite

Date published: Friday 22nd June 2018 11:55 - Matthew Briggs

Chelsea are reportedly preparing to meet the €38million asking price for Kostas Manolas.

Widespread reports both in Italy and England claim the Blues remain close to announcing Maurizio Sarri as their new boss to replace Antonio Conte.

The club have yet to firm up the talk, but according to SportItalia Sarri is working on transfer targets and wants Roma’s central defender and reported Arsenal target Manolas to be his first signing.

The 26-year-old Greece international is a player Chelsea tried to sign when Conte took over two years ago. Roma though blocked Manolas’ exit then, now however Chelsea are willing to pay the player’s release clause.

SportItalia claimed Chelsea submitted a €44m bid for the player earlier this month, but the same Italian source claim Manolas, who is under contract until 2022, is asking for a few days to consider his options.

And he will likely be in touch with Antonio Rudiger, who made the move from Rome to London last summer, and who slowly adapted to life in the Premier League.

Calciomercato suggest “Sarri’s system does require physical, attacking defenders who can press aggressively” and Manolas fits that criteria.

Manolas, who made 40 appearances for Roma last season, joined the Serie A side from Olympiacos in August 2014, while Goal reported in February that he had agreed personal terms with Inter ahead of a potential summer transfer.


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