Manchester United have been long linked with a move for AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas, but it is thought the club always had preferred targets to the Greece international.
You constantly see the Reds linked with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar.
All three would be better known than Manolas, possibly regarded highly in football terms, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be the best fit to partner Victor Lindelof in United’s defence.
Anyhow, the Greek defender has reaffirmed his intention to stay with the Giallorossi as he’s ‘happy’ to remain in Rome.
“I have my life in Rome and I’m happy there. My life is very simple,” Manolas told Il Turista, as quoted by Football Italia.
“I spend most of my free time at home with my family. I like it. I approach my career like I do my life: I can go high and get great results, but I always have to keep my feet on the ground and remember where I started.
“Football, like life, gives you nothing. You have to fight to reach your objectives. My grandfather gave me my first pair of boots when I was little. My mother said that my first word was ‘objective’ while holding a football, not ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.
“Something inside me made me understand right away that I’d become a footballer, although I did very well at school.”
🤩 The Greek God in Rome 🙌
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) February 22, 2019
Good response from Manolas when you consider all the clichés usually given when footballers are asked about transfers. He states that he is happy at his current club and while it sounds as though he really is, snubbing Manchester United would be difficult.
Atletico Madrid are also reportedly interested in Manolas, as per Tuttosport, via Mundo Deportivo. It has been confirmed that Diego Simeone’s side will be without France defender Lucas Hernandez next season, with the World Cup winner headed to Bayern Munich for €80 million (via BBC Sport).
Simeone also has a good eye for a defender but it will be tough for any centre-back to break the formidable partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Giminez, although the former could leave the club this summer.
United, on the other hand, need quality defensive enforcements to mount any real challenge next season. While Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have got new deals, it has become a concern that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could stick with the defenders he has next term. Victor Lindelof is the only centre-back at the club who can say he’s had a good campaign in 2018/19.
The 27-year-old will be monitored by several clubs, especially if Roma fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.