When I returned from a few days off to see Per Mertesacker being linked with a move away I didn’t overly believe it, but the more the story has rumbled on, the more I’ve started to wonder if there isn’t something to it all.

Out of contract next summer, Per himself seems hopeful of staying at Arsenal, but the rate at which the club are said to scouting central defenders has seemed to ratchet up a notch over recent days, the latest being Kostas Manolas, a player we’ve been heavily linked with for a while now.

With Barcelona said to be heavily interested in the Greek defender, Sport in Spain think that Arsenal could go back for him in the summer while claiming that the interest of the Catalans was ‘welcomed by Roma.’

Barcelona could offer the Italians Thomas Vermaelen, who is currently there on loan, to help soften the blow of losing a player they value at €25m.

Despite signing Samuel Umtiti from Lyon in the summer, Barca are said to still want Manolas.