Could Kostas Manolas Be Heading to the Premier League?
Roma defender Kostas Manolas has been one of the first names on the team-sheet at Stadio Olimpico over the last five years, but his time in Serie A could be set to end this summer with a number of Premier League clubs reportedly interested in his acquiring his services. A plethora of players could be set to leave the club over the next few months, with the Greek International one of many potential departures for the Giallorossi.
The 27-year-old has been one of the clubs most consistent performers this season, starting 27 games, and helping his side keep ten clean sheets in the Italian top flight. It isn't the first time that he has been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Manchester United amongst the potential suitors. Newspaper reports suggest that Manolas' contract features a £36 million release clause, with a number of sides - including the Red Devils - willing to match that.
He's been a terrific servant to Roma, featuring over 200 times for the Italian giants, but the 27-year-old is believed to be keen to challenge himself in a completely different environment.
Outside of his domestic commitments, Manolas is a key member of the Greek national team, and has represented his country 40 times since 2013. He recently featured in his side's limp 3-0 defeat to Italy, although they are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Euro 2020 play-offs after taking four points from their opening two encounters. They've been drawn in a group alongside Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Armenia and Liechtenstein, and will fancy their chances of bouncing back from their disappointing display against the Azzurri and Armenia. The Ethniki Omada were simply outclassed by their opponents, and they must ensure they are far more streetwise when the pair meet again later this year.
Angelos Anastasiadis' men are currently 11/5 in the latest football betting to finish in the top two positions of Group J, and with games against Liechtenstein and Finland to come before the end of September, Manolas and team-mates have a terrific opportunity to put themselves in a favourable position before they re-oppose Roberto Mancini's men in mid-October.
The defender put pen to paper on a new long-term contract in December 2017, and Roma have since rejected a number of offers for the former Olympiacos man. He could opt to team up with fellow Greek defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Konstantinis Mavropanos at the Emirates next season, with the Gunners hoping to add a defensive lynchpin to their squad this summer. However, Manchester United are likely to undergo a significant squad overhaul ahead of the 2019-2020 campaign, and Manolas has been touted several times for a move to Old Trafford.
The Greek International is likely to be in demand this summer, and following the conclusion of the latest batch of Euro 2020 qualifiers, he may be forced to make a very important decision on his future. He is guaranteed game time at Stadio Olimpico, but he may fancy challenging himself in the English top flight instead. The defender is a classy operator, and an experienced head, and it's no surprise to see him being continually linked with a move to the Premier League. The 27-year-old has also been linked with a move to Juventus, and he will have a potentially life-changing decision to make over the next couple of months. It'll be interesting to see where the experienced defender ends up, and it could potentially be one of the most fascinating transfer tug-of-wars to take place this summer.