Arsenal seem to be closing in on a £6.5 million deal for Kostas Manolas after the player was dropped from the Olympiacos squad for their season opener, reports The Daily Mail.
The omission is a massive hint that the Greece international is close to agreeing a move to Arsenal. After playing a key role for the club last season and for his country during the World Cup, there is little else to account for his absence.
Arsene Wenger pointed towards Manolas as a possible replacement for Thomas Vermaelen. The former Arsenal captain departed for Barcelona earlier this summer, leaving the Gunners with just two recognised centre-backs in Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Olympiacos are ready to sell the centre-back for the right price and it is believed a fee of £6.5 million is close to be agreed. Arsenal are pushing hard to complete the deal before the transfer window closes and are confident of doing so.
First team doubts
The biggest impasse in negotiations is not money, but first team opportunities for Manolas. The 23-year-old is reluctant to leave Olympiacos to be a back-up at the Emirates Stadium. With Calum Chambers thoroughly impressing at centre-back, Manolas could potential arrive as a fourth choice.
Wenger has already said that he sees Chambers as a defensive midfielder in the future, suggesting his stint at the back is temporary. However, the Frenchman would have been impressed with the 19-year-old's commanding performances at the back thus far.
Manolas will seek guarantees over his role in the squad before agreeing to move, but Arsenal believe a deal will be agreed.
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