Arsenal eyeing Greece defender Manolas

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen on Olympiakos and Greece star Kostas Manolas as he looks to sign a new central defender before the transfer window shuts, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

With Thomas Vermaelen having left for Barcelona, Arsenal are left with only Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as their only senior natural centre-backs. Nacho Monreal could play in the position, but he will now be needed at left-back due to an injury picked up by Kieran Gibbs which will keep him out for four weeks.

Manolas would provide a good long-term option for Wenger as he only 23, while he would arguably offer the Gunners more quality and mobility in the defensive third of the pitch. He has helped Olympiakos to two successive Greek titles since he joined from AEK Athens in the summer of 2012, making 74 appearances and scoring six goals.

He also impressed for his country at the World Cup as they reached the knockout stages of the competition for the first time, losing on penalties to Costa Rica in the last 16. Arsenal are confident of signing Manolas, having identified him as their most realistic central defensive target.

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