Reports - Barcelona in race to sign Arsenal and Manchester United target Kostas Manolas
Roma defender Kostas Manolas has been in imperious form for the Serie A giants, and now latest reports from Sport suggest that Barcelona are favourites to sign the talented Greek defender.
Plenty of Premier League clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal were interested in signing the Roma defender, but the Italian side held firm and did not want to sell him. Now, with Barcelona entering the race, the Italian side’s resolve will definitely be tested.
A deal for Manolas is said to cost somewhere close to €45 million, although the price may well rise if the Greek international signs a new contract. With Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu struggling this season, the signing of Manolas would make perfect sense for the Catalan giants.
Barcelona have struggled for form, fitness and consistency this season. Losses against Alaves and Celta Vigo have seen the defending champions make a less than impressive start and they currently sit in 4th position on the La Liga table.
Lionel Messi and Samuel Umtiti close to returning for Barcelona
Barcelona Football Club are working hard to recuperate injured duo of Leo Messi and Samuel Umtiti for their forthcoming games at home with Deportivo la Coruna and Manchester City. Messi has been sidelined for two weeks after suffering a groin strain during Barca's 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid, while Umtiti has been out for a similar length of time with a ligament injury in his left knee.
Although Barca's 3-4 defeat away to Celta Vigo on Sunday was down more to defensive and goalkeeping errors than Messi's absence, the fact is that the Argentinean is a talisman for his side, reports Xinhua.
Meanwhile, before his injury Umtiti had quickly established himself as first choice central defender alongside Gerard Pique at the club and neither Javier Mascherano or Jeremy Mathieu, who scored a very avoidable own goal in Vigo, have looked comfortable in recent games.
Also read: FC Barcelona: Top 10 highest paid players
Both Messi and Umtiti have worked on the training pitch in recent days to put the final touches to their recoveries and although Messi spent Thursday in the gym, the current international break gives him a further nine days to recover.
Barcelona entertain Deportivo in the Primera Liga on October 15 in a game they are clear favourites to win before welcoming Manchester City to the Camp Nou on October 19.
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