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Arsenal still eyeing defensive reinforcements despite splashing out £35m in the summer

Arsenal are reportedly still hoping to agree a deal with Roma for Greek defender Kostas Manolas, despite signing Shkodran Mustafi this past summer.

As noted by BBC Sport, the Gunners spent over £35m to prise the German international away from Valencia, and in turn he has since struck up a solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny in the heart of the Arsenal defence.

However, it doesn’t appear as though Arsene Wenger is done recruiting to improve that department of his squad, with Sport claiming that the north London giants lead both Barcelona and Manchester City in the race to sign Manolas.

With Per Mertesacker’s contract expiring at the end of the season, Wenger may have a task on his hands to replace the club captain and add depth to his defence with Gabriel the only other experienced centre-half option in the squad currently.

In turn, that would make a move for Manolas a sensible one, with the Greek international continuing to impress in the Italian capital as a pivotal part of Luciano Spalletti side’s success.

However, Sport add that Barcelona will likely emerge as the fiercest competition for his signature, as they have struck up a solid partnership with the Giallorossi following the deal which took Thomas Vermaelen to the Stadio Olimpico this past summer.

It’s suggested that the deal was signed off by the Catalan giants with a view of being able to reach a future agreement over Manolas, although Roma were demanding around €25m to start listening to offers.

Like Arsenal, Barca also moved to strengthen their backline this summer with the signing of Samuel Umtiti but regardless of the Frenchman’s arrival, based on the report it appears as though Luis Enrique is also still keen to bolster his options at the back.

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