Kostas Manolas is set to leave Roma in the summer with Arsenal and Inter the two clubs fighting it out for his signature according to Calciomercato.

Arsenal have been chasing the defender for a while now and even came close to signing him in the summer. In the end, messed around by the Italians, they went and got Shkodran Mustafi instead.

Now, it seems we could well be going back for him. Could…

Do Arsenal need him?

Well. Yes.

Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny might be all well and good (when they aren’t playing at Stamford Bridge) but that’s about all we have. Despite the best will in the world, Gabriel is just a shambles. Per Mertesacker, with a new one-year deal in hand, will be around next season, but he’s hardly world class these days.

Will they get him?

That’s hard to say and depends on so many factors. T he usual transfer issues of agreeing a fee with his club, terms with the player and, of course, Arsenal actualy thinking he’s the right player for the club all have to fall in line.

But a bigger problem is who will be the manager at the club next season. If it is Arsene, then we can lay the groundwork for summer acquisitions now, but if it’s not? What manager is going to want to come in knowing that his shopping has already been done for him?

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Is there any actual truth in the rumour?

Most likely, yes. We know Arsenal tried to buy him before so there is concrete interest and they have identified him as a player who can do a job for Arsenal. It’s worth noting, however, that agents could simply be using Arsenal thanks to their established interest in the player in the past.

Any other info?

The Italian report adds that the player is refusing to sign a new deal with Roma. They think that the player will move for a minimum of €42m (£36m). But they also think a bidding war between Arsenal and Inter Milan (and possibly Juve) could see that rise considerably. Inter, they claim, have already offered €42m but their inability to make ‘immediate cash payments’ stopped a deal being done.

Roma need a cash injection and that’s something Arsenal could help with.

However, the player is said to have already held talks with Inter and discussed a €4m-a-year salary (£68k -per-week). That could be a clue as to where his heart, ultimately, lies.