Man Utd, Arsenal watch €34m defensive target head to Napoli

Napoli are closing in on a €34million to sign Kostas Manolas from Roma, claim reports.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis spoke to media on Wednesday during an event at the Italian parliament and name-checked the Greece defender: “Big teams are based on a big defence and a big midfield and Manolas and Koulibaly can be an important defensive partnership”.

Manolas will sign for Roma with Amadou Diawara going the other way, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Napoli have had the commanding centre-back on their radar for some time, but are set to wrap up the deal by paying €34million with €4.5million to the player per season.

It will come as a blow to Manchester United and Arsenal, who are both understood to have been tracking the 28-year-old, who has been in Rome for five seasons.

In April the Rome edition of Leggo claimed United would activate the release clause of Manolas this summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the lookout for new defenders as he looks to resolve United’s issues at the back, with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leiceester Harry Maguire understood to be his main targets.

However, Manolas may well have been better value-for-money option, thanks to the €36m release clause in his contract.