Man City set to beat Arsenal to sign highly-rated centre-back – Not William Saliba

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Manchester City are looking to beat Arsenal to the signing of Roma defender Kostas Manolas as they look for a replacement for the outgoing Vincent Kompany.

The Greek centre-back has a contract with Roma until 2022, but is expected to move on this summer, even telling reporters after the final game of the Serie A season:

‘I don’t know if I’ll stay here.’

The 27-year-old has a relatively affordable release clause, by modern standards, of £32m, which has attracted the attention of numerous big clubs around Europe.

Italian publication Corriere dello Sport report that Man City are the latest club to show an interest in Manolas, joining the likes of Arsenal and Juventus in the hunt for his signature.

The Gunners have been linked with the Greek for longer than their Premier League rivals, but City are now reported to be ‘the most interested English club.’

The imposing centre-back arrived in Rome from Olympiacos in 2014 for around £13m and has been a regular in the first team since then, making over 200 appearances for the Serie A side.

He has not won anything in his time in Italy, but did claim two Greek league titles during his time with Olympiacos.

City have lost at the end of his contract as he returns to be player-manager of Anderlecht in Belgium.

While they still have John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi at centre-back, Pep Guardiola is thought to want to add another option to his squad this summer.

Arsenal are expected to sign at least one central defender as they look to improve on the error-prone options they have in that area, although Unai Emery’s funds are limited this summer due to the failure to qualify for the Champions League.

The Gunners will face a tough battle with City if both try and tempt the Greek to the Premier League, although the Londoners will be able to offer him guaranteed first team football, which the champions will not be able to.

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