Arsenal have reportedly been beaten to the signing of Roma defender Kostas Manolas as London rivals Chelsea are favourites to sign the Greece international, who has grown into one of Europe’s leading centre-backs since joining the Serie A outfit from Olympiakos four years ago.
And the Blues are ready to activate his £34million release clause, according to reports from Italian media.
Incoming manager Maurizio Sarri is believed to be an admirer of Manolas from his time in charge of former club Napoli, and that is likely to see Manolas edge closer to the west part of London rather than the north.
New Gunners head coach Unai Emery also needs to bolster his defence with Laurent Koscielny injured.
Recently it was reported that Spanish manager has sanctioned a move for World Cup sensation Aleksandr Golovin who has been remarkable for his national team, who has already advanced to the next stage of the tournament.
Rivals Chelsea were also mooted as potential suitors for the CSKA Moscow playmaker is valued at around £26 million and is keen on moving to Premier League with his father claiming that his son is learning English toward a move to English top clubs.