As Manchester United struggle to complete the signing of Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, it seems that they have switched their attention towards other transfer targets. Roma defender Kostas Manolas has emerged as a target with the United officials keen on the defender, who is valued at around the £52 million by the Italian club. It has been rumoured for quite a while that Lindelof would be the next major signing at Old Trafford with the Swedish defender expected to sign for around £38 million. The deal has hit a snag in recent weeks with varying reports suggesting that the deal may be called off or may be announced in the next few days.
As uncertainty surrounds the Lindelof transfer to Old Trafford, Kostas Manolas has seemingly grabbed the attention of top clubs around the world like United. The Greek defender has been with Roma since the summer of 2014 after making a €13 million move to the Italian capital. He continues to remain an integral part of the club’s hopes of dispossessing the stranglehold of Juventus in the Italian Serie A. Manolas may not be renowned for scoring goals from the set pieces, but he provides great strength in the aerial duels. He is also extremely strong at passing, something which would be useful for United to play out from the back.
A key factor that has seen United target Manolas is the contract situation of the player. The 25-year-old’s current contract runs out in the summer of 2019, and there has been no talk of a new deal. Since he has less than 18 months left on the contract, it leaves Roma at the risk of losing the player for much less than his market value. Buoyed by the impressive performances of Manolas this season, Roma have been able to move within four points of Juventus, albeit having played a game more.
According to the Sun, United’s first bid for the player was around £32.5 million, but their second offer is a staggering £47 million. As a result, both clubs are closer towards meeting at a figure for the player. Such an extravagant transfer fee would see Manolas become one of the world’s most expensive defenders, a title currently held by Chelsea defender David Luiz when he made the move to French club PSG for £50 million.
There is a possibility that Roma would reject any final offer from the Premier League outfit considering that it would severely hamper their chances of finishing in the top three. Even though the title remains the ultimate objective, qualifying for the Champions League next season is a bread-and-butter. If Manolas at least moves for this reported transfer fee in the summer, it would net Roma a sizable profit on their €13 million investment.