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Chelsea face battle with stubborn Serie A giants for defensive target

Chelsea will have a fight on their hands if they wish to land Roma defender Kostas Manolas this summer, according to the player’s agent.

As reported by the Metro, the Premier League champions are understood to be preparing a £31.4m offer for the Greek international, as they continue their search for a successor to John Terry.

The tough-tackling and no-nonsense centre-half would appear to be a perfect fit for the English top flight, but Mino Raiola doesn’t agree and insists that the Giallorossi will likely dig their feet in over the summer.

“Manolas? His name is in the notepads that matter,” Raiola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I don’t know if he’ll go to the Premier League, he could maybe do better in other leagues for his physical characteristics.

“But I get the impression Roma will work hard to keep him.”

It is no surprise that the Roman giants will want to keep hold of the former Olympiakos star, as he has impressed for the most part since his arrival at the club in 2014.

However, given their history of having to balance the books with the sales of the likes of Marquinhos and Erik Lamela, it remains to be seen whether or not the pressure of rejecting such substantial fees gets the better of them if Chelsea come calling in the summer.

The reigning Premier League champions still have a great deal of uncertainty to deal with given that they have yet to make an official announcement on their next coach, and that will be a big factor in whether or not Manolas is still of interest to them at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, they face a difficult task of prising him away from the Stadio Olimpico, with the Giallorossi also hopeful that qualification for the Champions League can make all the difference as they sit in the third and final spot to have a chance to feature in the competition with eight games remaining.

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