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Arsenal and Tottenham in fight for top defender

North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are about to go head-to-head for the signature of Roma defender, Kostas Manolas, as reported in The Mirror.

The 24-year-old Greek has been in impressive form and has appeared in every league and European match so far this season. The Italian side currently sit second in Serie A and it’s clear he’s seen as a cornerstone of any future success.

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Before joining Roma for €15m in August 2014 he had enjoyed spells at AEK Athens and Olympiakos, during which time he enhanced his reputation and caught the eye of scouts across Europe. But as if a tug-of-war between The Gunners and Spurs wouldn’t be complicated enough, Manolas has a history of colourful transfer sagas.

In January 2012 the BBC reported his club at the time, AEK Athens, agreed a fee of £500,000 with Everton. The player refused the move, claiming he didn’t wish to leave Athens without cover at the back, at that point the club’s only other defensive options were a 36-year-old and two youth players.

However, in July 2012 he joined Olympiakos on a free transfer as AEK Athens struggled with crippling debts. His first season at the club saw him make 24 league appearances and he played in the Greek Cup final that saw his side clinch a domestic double.

During the 2013/14 season he was linked with multiple Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, Fulham, Sunderland and was rumoured to be the man Moyes would replace Vidic with at Manchester United. The player told The Express back in October 2014 he had rejected Arsenal and Juventus before joining Roma.

If it’s true Arsenal have already attempted to sign him once at least they have an idea of where to start negotiations. It’s believed Wenger views his current centre-back pairing as a problem and may meet the demands the second time of asking.

Spurs will have their work cut-out trying to lure a player away from a Champions League outfit until they secure a top four finish under Mauricio Pochettino.

Article title: Arsenal and Tottenham in fight for top defender

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