We have spent most of the Summer Transfer Window being linked to the same players in some kind of musical chairs, but today a new name entered the frame.
Manchester City fans have spent the Summer Transfer window so far largely reading the same recycled transfer news day after day. It tends to start with Harry Maguire, then goes on to Cancelo, then to Rodri. Sometimes there is a slight deviation into Bruno Fernandes before we get to Joao Felix.
Occasionally from these names we get stories of alternatives should any of these not work out – Ndombele for example? And let us not forget some wag will always introduce Isco, the player we have been linked with in every window since the Jurassic period. Yet today there was a different name afoot – a new player was mentioned by the media: Manolas.
Today the Italian press were reporting we are interested in the Greek International central defender, Konstantinos Manolas. He is currently playing for Roma and there are all kinds of rumours around suggesting the Club are in difficulty both on and off the pitch. So much so that a number of players could be available.
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Now before we turn to look at the player, it is worth reminding ourselves that the story originates in the Italian press, and although its written down it could be being peddled for all manner of reasons. Maybe the player wants a new deal, maybe he is looking to force a move, maybe his agent and Roma are seeking to maximise price?
His agent is also an interesting part of the story because it is Mino Raiola – a man who in common parlance seems to be depicted as the arch enemy of our Club. The man who called out Guardiola over Ibrahimovic and who the press would have you believe we avoid dealing with at all costs. Of course the only problem with that narrative is Phillipe Sandler’s agent is Raiola. He is also De Ligt’s. So, it seems we are willing to deal with the devil if we have to.
The Italian Press are reporting Manolas may be available for a bargain £35 million as that is the release clause stipulated in his contract. That may well put him on our radar, especially if we are looking for an experienced player available for a reasonable price who would allow our major parts of the transfer budget to be spent elsewhere.
However, Manolas presents a steady rather than inspiring option. He has just finished a disappointing season in Serie A for Roma where they have failed to qualify for the Champions League. His solid performances have largely seen him linked initially to Juventus – but to be fair every player in Italy is linked to Juventus in much the same way as every German player is linked to Bayern Munich.
He notched up 35 appearances across all competitions and scored 2 goals and assisted 1. Imagine how deadly we would be from set pieces!
I should probably make a declaration of interest at this point. With some strong Greek family connections I would quite like for City to sign a good Greek player. That would bring a certain extra level of kudos to family meals.
I had assumed up until this point Manolas would actually form part of the Arsenal rebuild this Summer rather than moving to an elite Club, so was surprised to see him being linked to us. Given who his agent is I must say I think he is just a chess piece being moved around on the summer board – I do not think we will be making a bid, but stranger things have happened. Wilfried Bony for example.
I guess the message is, this is silly season in news stories, so expect more to come, but it is probably wise to look at these with a pinch of salt.