After The Nyet To Zenit, What Next For Kostas Manolas?
As the summer transfer window officially opens, one of the biggest questions for Greek supporters is where Kostas Manolas will end up. The Roma and Greek international defender looked set to make the switch to Zenit this past week in a deal rumored to be around €30 million. That would have made the 26-year-old the most expensive Greek transfer of all time.
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However, the seemingly done deal fell apart at the final hurdle as Manolas reportedly stated he wanted to be paid in Euros rather than Rubles. Zenit initially declined that request leading to the player failing to show up for his medical. An ultimatum given by Zenit for a decision needed by this past weekend came and went and it’s now confirmed that Manolas will not continue his career in Russia, at least not with the Saint Petersburg side. The question begs whether Manolas really wanted to make the move to Zenit. And some outlets report that a bigger club contacted the player’s representatives which turned Manolas’ head.
So, where now for the former AEK and Olympiacos center-back? Barring any more big twists to this transfer saga there appears to be two distinct possibilities. One, is that Manolas could stay at Roma. While it has looked increasingly likely that the player would leave the capital club, the fact that Manolas’ teammate Anthony Rudiger is also being touted for a move away could complicate matters. Roma insisted before the transfer window they are not a selling club or as their director of football, Monchi, said, “Roma are not a supermarket.” However, if they continue to let go of their players they will have a real problem with supporters.
Rudiger has been heavily linked with Chelsea in recent days, a club also rumored to be interested in Manolas. In fact, some reports suggested that a phone call from Chelsea indicating their interest was the main reason the Zenit deal was scuppered.
Regardless, a move to the Premier League would appear to be the likeliest move for Manolas the way things stand. The Chelsea rumors have been accompanied by whispers that Manchester United are also keen to sign the player. Both Chelsea and United would appear to have reasons to sign Manolas, yet both sides could also pass on the player with the Blues targeting other central defenders and United having already signed Swedish defender Victor Lindelof in a €31 million move.
Perhaps the only other club that has shown real interest in Manolas has been Inter Milan, who were at the forefront of rumors in previous months. After Jerome Boateng was said to be a Chelsea target, there was fleeting transfer gossip that Bayern Munich could be a potential destination for Manolas.
As with so many transfers this time of year, the unexpected could and usually does happen and a deal is never a deal until it’s a done deal as Manolas’ move to Zenit clearly proved. Whatever happens, it will be interesting watching over the next two months as to what occurs with Kostas Manolas. And for Greek supporters, it’s perhaps a welcome twist to have a Greek player be involved with one of the transfer sagas of the summer.