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Arsene Wenger has stepped up his attempts to sign AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas, according to football insider sources.
The club sent scouts to keep an eye on the defender in recent games and according to a source close to the Gunners, Wenger has ordered the scouts to compile a detailed dossier on the defender as the club plan to submit an official bid this summer.
Wenger is determined to strengthen his backline by signing a world class defender as Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker failed to impress this season.
Apart from the pair’s poor performances, two out of the three Arsenal senior team centre backs are above 30. Mertesacker is already 32 while Koscielny turns 31 in September, with this in mind coupled with the inconsistent performances at the back, Wenger has made searching for a new partner for Koscielny a priority.
Manolas, is being touted as one of the best centre backs in Europe and at just 24 years of age, he is definitely the type of defender Wenger needs to bolster the defence.
The report also claims the Gunners were in advanced talks with Olympiakos to sign the defender for £8m in 2014 before Roma tabled a superior bid to lure the defender to Rome.
Wenger has his work cut out for him in his attempts to sign the defender as he would need to rival Chelsea for his signature.
The Blues who recently confirmed former Juventus boss Antonio Conte are reportedly very interested in the defender who they see as a successor to John Terry.
It will also take a lot to convince Roma who currently sit third on the Serie A table to part with a player who still has 3 years left in his contract.
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