Chelsea halted as Roma enter talks with defensive star

Chelsea have been halted in their chase for Kostas Manolas after Roma have begun negotiations over a new contract for the player, Corriere dello Sport reports.

The 24-year-old still has three years remaining on his current deal with the Italian giants, but the club are keen to increase his wages without extending his stay.

He is now being paid £23,000-a-week at the Stadio Olimpico, with the Blues also ready to lure him to the Premier League with an upgrade on his wages.

Italy boss Antonio Conte is heavily tipped to replace interim manager Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge in the summer and has made the centre-back one of his top targets heading into the transfer window.

The club tabled a £26million offer for the services of the Greece international earlier this month, but saw their bid rejected by the Serie A side.

Manolas has already featured 37 times in all competitions for his side this term, so far managing to score one goal while providing another two assists in the process.

Article title: Chelsea halted as Roma enter talks with defensive star

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