Arsenal missed out on the signing of Kostas Manolas despite offering more money than Roma, according to reports in Greece.
The highly-rated Greek centre back had been close to joining Arsene Wenger’s side but instead joined Italian giants Roma as a replacement for Mehdi Benatia at the Stadio Olimpico.
Wenger is in the market for a centre-back after the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, leaving Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers as the club’s only senior centre backs.
Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis, a self-confessed Liverpool fan, had authorised Manolas’ move to Roma despite Arsenal coming up with a last minute bid which trumped the Italians’ €13m plus €2m in bonuses offer.
Manolas wasn’t keen on arriving at Emirates Stadium unless he could be guaranteed first team football – something that Roma boss Rudi Garcia was more than happy to offer following the departure of talented defender Benatia.
23-year-old Manolas issued a statement earlier today thanking Marinakis for ‘keeping his word’ after ‘rejecting transfer offers that would have better financially for Olympiakos’.