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Zenit pull out of Kostas Manolas deal after cheeky Chelsea phone chat — report

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Roma defender Kostas Manolas looked all set to join former Roma teammate Leandro Paredes at Zenit St. Petersburg this summer — in fact, their deals were supposed to be negotiated together at the same time — but according to last night’s reports in Italy, Zenit manager Roberto Mancini (of Manchester City, Inter, and, as a player, Sampdoria fame) has pulled out of the deal after the center back skipped his medical thanks to a dispute over financial terms. The exact nature of the dispute is not clear, but some reports are claiming that it simply and hilariously came down to what currency he was going to get paid in.

Note to any future Manolas bidders: do not pay the man in rubles.

One of those future bidders could very well be Chelsea, especially as some reports, including the one in this morning’s Corriere dello Sport, have gone as far as to claim that it was Chelsea’s phone call to Manolas that proved to be the deciding factor in him walking away from the Zenit deal. Whether that’s true or not, whether Chelsea do have a bid in mind for the £26m-rated 26-year-old, I suspect we’ll find out soon enough. Sky Italia claimed last night that Chelsea were not behind the diversion, but the Telegraph said we were.

For now, this is something to keep tracking, especially given previous rumors between Chelsea and the Greece international last summer.