Arsenal have put themselves in the front roll in the race to sign high rated AS Roma and Greece international defender Kostas Manolas. According to a report by Express, Arsenal are keen on the signing of a centre back this summer and have identified the former Olympiacos star as a main target.

Football insider had revealed days ago that Arsenal have been monitoring the progress of Manolas ever since he went to the serie A and will test Roma’s resolve to keep the player with a big money offer.

Wenger reportedly sees the defender as someone who is capable of soon to depart Arsenal vice captain Per Mertesacker. The German who turns 32 in September will be on the last year of his contract at the start of next season and hasn’t been offered a new deal which probably means the club will be releasing him once his contract is expired.

According to football insider, Arsenal had offered £8 million for Manolas two years ago but Bayern Munich ruined it for Arsenal. Recall that in 2014, Bayern Munich paid Roma £30 million to sign the then AS Roma centre back Mehdi Benatia which meant Roma needed another centre back and were able to offer Olympiacos more money than Arsenal for Manolas’ signing.

Wenger hasn’t however given up on signing the powerful defender and will try to beat Chelsea and Manchester United to his signing.