Unai Emery must make Kostas Manolas his top target this summer after reports in Italy claim the Gunners are preparing to activate the centre-back’s release clause.
Roma have not yet reached an agreement with the 27-year-old over a new deal and its believed the Greek international has a £32 million release clause in his current contract which Arsenal are keen to trigger.
The Serie A club announced earlier in the week that captain Daniele De Rossi would not be renewing the midfielder’s contact and will leave at the end of the season after 18 years.
According to Il Messaggero (via Metro) the news of De Rossi’s imminent departure from the club has not sat well with several members of the squad and are now believed to be considering their futures, with Manolas being one of them.
Arsenal, along with Juventus, are potential destinations for the defender as they are both ready to activate the player’s release clause.
Emery’s summer budget will depend on whether Arsenal can secure a Champions League next season by defeating Chelsea in the Europa League final on May 29th. Should they manage to do so, Emery could receive a budget in the excess of £100 million or £40 million if they are to play Europa League football once again next season.
Arsenal have struggled defensively again this season and urgent amendments are needed in this department ahead of next season.
Regardless of his budget, Emery must do everything he can to land Manolas this summer. He is very much at an affordable price at just £32 million and with the likes of Laurent Koscielny becoming injury-prone over the past couple of seasons and ageing and Shkodran Mustafi not fitting the bill since his arrival from Valencia, the Roma centre-back would be an ideal acquisition for the club. More importantly, he could potentially form a formidable partnership with fellow countryman Sokratis, who could also play a key role in getting this deal over the line. This would leave Rob Holding, Sokratis, Calum Chambers (possibly) and Manolas all vying for a starting berth next season.
Mustafi is being linked with a move away from the Emirates and could, if we are lucky, fetch up to £20 million. These potential funds could be put towards the signing of Manolas without having to dip too much in Emery’s transfer budget, even if the club fail to beat Chelsea in the Europa League final.