Italian side AS Roma are set to beat Arsenal to the signing of Olympiakos centre-back Kostas Manolas after reports in Greece suggested that personal terms have been agreed between the player and the club.
Manolas, who represented Greece in this Summer's World Cup, has been heavily linked with a move away from his homeland, with England his likely destination as The Gunners moved into pole position to land the 23-year-old.
Change of heart
However, after stalling on the move, Arsenal have now lost grip on Manolas and Roma have moved in quickly to discuss terms with the defender and his representatives.
The 23-year-old has already been told by Olympiakos that he is free to leave the club this Summer, with one of their officials saying if an £8 million offer comes in for the centre-back, they won't stand in his way if he wants to leave.
Olympiakos even took the decision to leave the highly-rated defender out of their match-day squad for the opening game of their campaign last weekend, amid reports that he was set to leave in order to join Arsenal.
Despite the talks hotting up, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, is not ready to sign anyone else until their Champions League status is ensured.
After finishing fourth in last year's Premier League, Arsenal have to go through the qualifying rounds for the Champions League, and after being held to a 0-0 draw by Besiktas in Turkey, the game is finely balanced ahead of Wednesday's second-leg at the Emirates.
Not done yet?
According to sources, if Arsenal do ensure their status in Europe's elite competition, Wenger will sign at least two more players, likely to be a centre-back and a holding-midfielder.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, whilst waiting to ensure their status, Roma have moved quickly in the pursuit for the centre-back, amid fears that Mehdi Benatia will be leaving the club for Bayern Munich later this month, and according to reports in Greece, personal terms have already been agreed.
All that is left now is for the two clubs to agree a fee, which is likely to be £8m like previously mentioned.
Benatia, who was Roma's star defender last season, is reportedly close to joining Munich in Germany, and Rudi Garica sees Manolas as the ideal replacement.
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