By Editor Wayne Veysey | 17 years experience of breaking major stories at Evening Standard, PA and Goal, including exclusives like this
Follow us on Twitter @footyinsider247
Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Roma defender Kostas Manolas by sending a delegation to scout him in his recent matches.
Football Insider revealed earlier this month that the Gunners are eyeing the £30million-rated centre-back two years after a deal to sign him from Olympiakos collapsed at the eleventh hour.
Manolas is once again on the radar of the north Londoners as they plan to bolster their central defence in the summer.
An Arsenal recruitment source has told Football Insider that the club are compiling a detailed dossier on the 24-year-old ahead of a possible summer bid through frequent scouting reports.
Manager Arsene Wenger has highlighted the centre-back position as one of his priorities in the forthcoming transfer window.
The Gunners have only three senior central defenders, including Per Mertesacker, who turns 32 in September and is out of contract in June 2017.
Mertesacker has lost his starting place in the last five matches to Gabriel, 25, but the Brazilian has not totally convinced in place of the senior man.
Manolas has emerged as one the best young defenders in Europe since joining Roma in a £10.3million deal in the summer of 2014.
He has been a mainstay of the Serie A side this season and, with three years still remaining on his contract, his value has increased considerably.
The source told Football Insider that Arsenal offered £8million for Manolas two years ago and held extensive talks with his camp but they were trumped by Roma after Bayern Munich had bought Moroccan star Mehdi Benatia from the Italians for £30million.
Chelsea have also been strongly linked with a summer move for Manolas as they look to replace John Terry, while there is also said to be interest in the player from a number of other Italian clubs.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club have made an offer for a 35-goal striker.