The pursuit for defenders is a task that most clubs handle with utmost care. While young talents are doubtful due to their inexperience at handling a backline, the possibility that they could play on for years to come makes a big difference.
This is why veterans are often the preferred arrivals in defense, and it is rare that a standout defender in the middle of his prime may wish to switch clubs.
However, this is precisely what may occur in the case of AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas.
The 27-year-old centre-back has been one of the finest players in the position, and he has now expressed a desire to play away from the Italian giants.
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The Greek international revealed to Sport24: “It’s only natural you want to play for the biggest clubs, like Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. I think I could make the difference anywhere I went, even at Barcelona. Although I have never spoken to Barcelona.”
An ambitious list to say the least, and one that conveniently contains some of the top names of Europe’s finest leagues. Clearly, confidence in ability is not an issue here.
Manolas almost left Roma last season itself, when a £30 million fee was reportedly agreed with Zenit Saint Petersburg. But the player himself chose to not undergo a medical and stayed on with the Italian giants.
Manchester United could give a close look at this situation, particularly in view of their condition with regard to the lack of a leader in the heart of their defense.
Now, having signed an extension to his contract a mere 12 months ago, a departure may not be as easy as Manolas makes it sound.
However, his 4-year-long tenure with Roma is bound to come to an end sooner or later, and perhaps some of the giants he has listed out will take advantage of the desire.