Manchester United are believed to have held talks with Roma to sign their star defender Kostas Manolas, according to the news circulating in Italy.
As the winter transfer market period kicks in along with the coming of the New Year, various clubs are back to business, keeping an eye on players who can strengthen their first team, bench and academy talents.
With 2019 marking the beginning of the second stage of league competitions after Christmas break, many clubs are eyeing for a fresh start, a victorious start for their campaign. In reference to Manchester United, the Red Devils have celebrated their New Year well, with an away victory at St. James Park against Newcastle United, the final score being 0-2.
With this victory, United secured a fourth consecutive victory under their interim manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, helping the Norwegian mark his impact in the history books of United by becoming the second manager to win first four league games in charge, after Sir Matt Busby during the 1946-47 campaign.
Moreover, United extended their winning run to five wins in as many games under Solskjaer after winning their FA Cup tie against Reading 2-0.
We're through to the #EmiratesFACup fourth round!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 5, 2019
With happy times back at Old Trafford after a rocky start to the current Premier League campaign alongside the departure of José Mourinho, the club officials are focusing on strengthening their roster and finding their next manager as they maintain their winning streak.
Among the transfer market buzz and rumours of competition amongst various clubs for a single talent, a player heavily associated with a move to Old Trafford is AS Roma centre-back, Kostas Manolas.
According to Italian news outlet, Calciomercato, Manchester United are in talks with Roma in an attempt to bring the Greek defender to Old Trafford.
The Greek centre-back is a significant part of the Greek national team and the Italian giants AS Roma. Kostas Manolas became famous as the kingpin of AS Roma’s famous ‘Il ritorno’, the historic comeback against FC Barcelona in the second leg of last year’s Champions League quarter final.
The Greek defender scored the decisive goal in Stadio Olimpico, leading Roma to the semi-finals. The Greek god of Rome, who marked his name in the history of UCL and AS Roma after the infamous header, Kostas Manolas is a sign of nightmare for Barcelona fans, even in today’s date.
When the Giallorossi club needed one goal to secure their place in the UCL, it was the Greek CB, who stepped forward, and headed the ball, changing the game. But recently, Italy’s football journal TUTTOmercatoWEB claim Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United are interested for the 27 year old defender, who is considered as one of Serie-A’s best defenders.
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United is said to be in the driving seat, as they have informed Roma officials regarding their interest to sign the Greek defender, and preparing a summer transfer move for him. According to reports, his release clause is €36m and United is ready to meet his release clause.
The Italian outlet also claims that Kostas Manolas is not looking to leave Roma, before the season end, with making his stance perfectly clear for potential suitors, including Chelsea and Arsenal in recent years. However, the stance will be different in summer.
Despite being a team with talents like Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, the Red Devils have conceded 32 goals in 21 matches. Coach Solskjær is also determined to solve the defensive woes of Manchester United.
According to Express’ report, United are preparing a £32.4m for Kostas Manolas, seen as a cheaper alternative to the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Harry Maguire. The real question which comes up, is whether Kostas Manolas the right man for United?
In a transfer market, where top quality defenders are priced at €60m, €75m, a defender like Kostas Manolas in such a value is a very good bargain in today’s date.
Kostas Manolas is a strong defender who is able to estabhlish his impact on the field very quickly, especially amongst the opponent strikers. A fast interceptor, with quick pace and high jump rate, powerful header skills, along with strong ball control and flair, Manolas has got all the major skills a good defender needs.
His strong body structure helps him to win aerial balls and duels, and furthermore, helping in maintaining clean sheets. His ability to break assists and crucial through passes of opposition players and also creating a game from his side is great.
Besides his defensive capabilities, Manolas has scored 3 goals, assisted one goal and conceived only 3 yellow cards in 31 appearances this season in all competitions. A perfect man for United, the presence of Manolas in the squad is not only going to boost the team’s defense, but also strengthen the attack as well (thanks to his heading skills) which can be crucial for United during corner kicks.
A success in convincing AS Roma to sell Kostas Manolas and pen down a new contract with the defender will be a win-win situation both for United (as they will get another new talent, who can influence and furthermore, change the game) and for Manolas (who will receive a better contract and higher release clause), while featuring for the first team in top division games (like the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, UEFA Champions League).
With time, we will get to know if this transfer is successfully able to take place, or whether United is able to find a better alternative if Kostas Manolas decides to stay at Roma by signing a new contract or leave for another club matching his demands.