Exclusive

Chelsea line up £42m bid to sign 26-year-old – transfer exclusive

Chelsea are ready to make a £42m (€48m) bid to sign defender Kostas Manolas from Roma as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his rearguard options, The Sport Review understands

Emanuele Giulianelli
By Emanuele Giulianelli
antonio conte
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is targeting Roma defender Kostas Manolas Photo: The Sport Review

Chelsea are ready to make a £42m (€48m) bid to sign defender Kostas Manolas from Roma this summer, The Sport Review understands.

The Blues are understood to be ready to make a move to sign the 26-year-old Greece international as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his defensive options at Stamford Bridge ahead of Chelsea’s return to the Champions League next season.

The Sport Review understands that Conte was keen to bring 30-year-old Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci to west London this summer but that move was vetoed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who wants the Blues to recruit younger players this summer.

Conte is believed to have then steered Chelsea’s attentions towards signing Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but their opening offer was rejected by the Serie A club, as has been widely reported this week.

And that sequence of events has led to Chelsea now targeting Manolas as Conte looks to bring in some defensive cover following John Terry’s Stamford Bridge exit at the end of last season.

Despite Terry’s exit, Chelsea still have a number options in central defence as things stand, with both Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma available despite neither player having featured regularly last season.

Danish defender Andreas Christensen is also due to report back to Chelsea this summer after his two-year loan spell with Borussia Monchengladback in Germany.

Manolas, who is under contract with Roma until June 2019, has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Inter Milan in the past and was also touted as a possible target for Chelsea last summer following Conte’s appointment at Stamford Bridge.

The defender was a regular fixture in the Roma team last season as he made 33 appearances and notched up two assists in Serie A to help his side finish second behind champions Juventus.

Manolas, born on the Island of Naxos in 1991, joined Roma from Greek side Olympiacos back in 2014 and has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet at the Stadio Olimpico.

Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his debut season in charge at Stamford Bridge but is now gearing his side up for a return to the Champions League – and could land Manolas as his first summer recruit.

MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Chelsea could make move for 24-year-old Man United target – transfer exclusive
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Legend tells Man United boss Jose Mourinho to make these two signings
The Sport Review
Roger Federer talks French Open decision, playing against fans, and enjoying his longevity
The Sport Review
Frank Lampard says Chelsea may have to make this key signing