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Roma head coach Spalletti blasts media, rules out Kostas Manolas sale

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The Kostas Manolas rumors were already on their final legs, gasping for air and grasping for purchase as they were being pulled relentlessly into the nether.  Taking pity on this disturbing state, here's Roma head coach Spalletti with the deathblow.

"In my opinion, and especially for those who are here, it is easy to see that there are no problems. Manolas is a good footballer, like there are many good footballers, and so it can happen that he will be linked in the transfer market - indeed it is inevitable. But his intentions are clear, so there are no issues."

"Why not talk instead about the problem of writing about issues that are not there? Manolas will stay with us."

-Luciano Spalletti; source:  AS Roma

So that's pretty definitive.  Earlier, Roma president Pallotta poured cold water on these rumors as well.

"He is happy with us in Rome and he does not want an increase on his salary. About the Chelsea speculation, that was all invented news."

-James Pallotta; source: Gazzetta World

We had surmised that the rumors were indeed most likely to be machinations from Manolas's agent regarding a new contract.  He's going to have to change tact as Roma aren't buying into it just yet.

As far as Chelsea are concerned, the two leading candidates for center back signings at the moment appear to be Victor Lindelof and Stefan de Vrij.  Neither is bound to set the world of expectations on fire, so perhaps we'll have a trick or two up our sleeve.