Arsenal Closing In On £8m Defender After Rival Suitors Juventus Change Targets

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Kostas Manolas could be on his way to Arsenal before the end of the summer…

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Arsenal are closing in on the £8m signing of Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas, who will replace the recently departed Thomas Vermaelen in Arsene Wenger’s squad.

The Daily Mail believes that Juventus are set to pull out of their proposed deal for the Greek International, leaving the Gunners as the prime contenders for the 23-year-old’s signature.

Mail reports suggest that the Italian giants have instead turn their intentions towards Benfica defender Luisao, and have made an enquiry over the availability of the 33-year-old Brazilian.

Luisao is reportedly keen on a move to Turin, and is looking to force through his move in the coming days. Manolas, who joined the Greek Champions from AEK Athens in 2012 and has since won 13 caps for his country, will then be free to move to London.

Strategic advisor at Olympiacos, Christian Karembeu, admits Juventus have made an offer for 23-year-old Manolas, but so too have English clubs.

Karembeu said: “The Bianconeri are interested in the player and have made a good offer. They are not the only ones, though… In the last few days interesting proposals have also arrived from England.

“The price, pretty much, is this – we are not willing to negotiate for less than €10m. We have not set a deadline. If we receive the right offer, we will sell him. Otherwise, we will keep him.”

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