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Chelsea transfer blow, Conte suffers setback but £32.5m deal could still appeal

Roma defender Kostas Manolas has established himself as a pivotal part of the Giallorossi line-up, and Chelsea are set to be left disappointed in their reported pursuit.

As noted by The Daily Mail, the Blues had been linked with a move for the £30m-rated Greek international since this past summer, with Antonio Conte keen to bolster his defensive options.

The Italian tactician ultimately added his Roma teammate, Antonio Rudiger, to his squad at Stamford Bridge, but speculation continued of a swoop for Manolas.

The 26-year-old moved to the Italian capital in 2014 from Olympiacos, and has gone on to make 143 appearances for the Serie A giants while establishing himself as one of the top centre-halves in the Italian top flight.

In turn, it’s no surprise that Conte wanted him at Chelsea, but as reported by Calciomercato, Manolas is all set to sign a new contract that will keep him at Roma until 2021, and one that will pay him €3m-a-year plus bonuses.

Given Chelsea have conceded just 11 goals in 14 Premier League games so far this season, the third best defensive record in the league, it shouldn’t be too much of a priority for them to bolster their backline.

Nevertheless, they continue to be paired with an interest, as per The Sun, who also add that Manolas could have a £32.5m release clause included in his new deal.

Whether or not that still makes him an appealing option remains to be seen, but on the face of it, for a top-class defender with plenty of experience and quality at a high level, that could still represent a very good deal in terms of value for money and so perhaps Chelsea could eye up a fresh bid next year.

David Luiz has fallen out of favour this season and turns 31 next year, while Gary Cahill will turn 32 later this month. Manolas could be eyed as a long-term replacement.

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