Arsenal eye 23-year-old Vermaelen replacement

Gareth Thomas Football Leave a Comment

Arsene Wenger is set to bolster his defensive option with a bid for 23-year-old Greek defender Kostas Manolas. The Daily Mail is one of many reporting that Arsenal see Manolas as cover for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

It is believed Wenger could be set to tempt Olympiacos with a bid of £8m for their World Cup experienced centre-back who has 13 caps for his country. With Mertesacker and Koscielny both having injury niggles continuing from pre-season, new boy Calum Chambers has played in the central defensive role but extra cover will be needed before the long season begins. They also wish to find a replacement for captain Thomas Vermaelen who joined Barcelona for a £15m fee in this past week.

Manolas started his career with Greek second division team Thrasyvoulos before moving to AEK Athens where he made 66 league appearances. Following the expiration of his contract he moved on to Olympiacos in 2012 and has scored 4 goals from the back in 49 Superleague games including various Champions League showings.

Manolas will need some convincing to play as back up however, especially with a contract that runs till 2017 at the Greek giants. Wenger is one of a number of clubs who have previously courted the youngster to bring him to the Premier League with Everton coming close to a deal whilst he played for AEK Athens and Spurs, Fulham and Sunderland all being tempted by him in January this year.

Is Kostas Manolas a good signing if Wenger can nab him Arsenal fans?