Liverpool move for £35m-rated Serie A ace to solve problem area - report
By Matt Farr
Liverpool are eyeing a move for Roma defender Kostas Manolas this summer in a bid to solve their defensive woes, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that Jurgen Klopp is hoping to beat Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United to the signature of the commanding Greek international defender.
It is also claimed thatL iverpool deployed scouts to watch the defender, 25, in action during Roma’s Europa League clash with Lyon on Thursday.
Manolas has been heavily coveted by the Premier League clubs, even before his switch to Italy, and he is likely to be the subject of a transfer tussle among England’s elite this summer.
Arsenal reportedly had a £35million bid for the defender turned down last summer, and Klopp will need to begin his negotiations at least where the Gunners left off.
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Manolas has two years left to run on his current contract with the Serie A giants, and Liverpool are believed to be ready to treble his wages, which reportedly stand at a poultry £25,000-per-week.
But the money will likely be no object for Liverpool, with Klopp needing to address the club’s ongoing defensive problems at the earliest opportunity.
The Reds have conceded 35 Premier League goals this term, the third-highest of any side currently positioned in the top ten.
It is believed that Arsenal’s bid for the defender was rejected because there was still a sell-on clause in the player’s contract that would have seen Olympiakos – his former club – earn 50 per cent of the transfer fee.
However, the clause has since expired, and if Roma choose to cash-in on the player this summer, they will now take the full profit.
Football Insider verdict
Liverpool simply have to make changes to their defence this summer. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have been out injured for lengthy spells over the course of the season, while Ragnar Klavan has not convinced. Meanwhile, Lucas Leiva is not a viable centre-back option, and Klopp must bring in someone capable of ending their problems – and not just a temporary fix. But Manolas has those qualities. He also has vast European and international experience, and would be a fantastic addition to the Liverpool ranks. He won’t come cheap though, but Klopp needs to throw caution to the wind and spend the necessary money to improve the squad for next season.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are reportedly in advanced talks to sign this emerging defender.