Chelsea are seemingly intent on not doing anything in the transfer market until a new head coach is in place, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from slowly spinning into action. And since the probable new head coach is also from Italy, the associated rumors will largely continue to be from there as well.
One of the latest, which we’ve largely ignored because it seems like a re-tread of previous years, is Chelsea’s supposed interest in Kostas Manolas. The 27-year-old Greece international has been at Roma since 2014 and was Antonio Rüdiger’s centre-back partner during the two years the current Chelsea defender spent at the Olimpico. It has become a sort of tradition to link Manolas with Chelsea each summer; only the particulars (Conte wants him! Sarri wants him!) changing to suit the needs of the story.
Corriere dello Sport aren’t the first to claim this time around that Chelsea are ready to pay the €36 million release clause in his contract with AS Roma. There’s supposedly even an offer on the table from Chelsea, which would see Manolas earn a hefty raise from €3m to €5m annually.
Manolas signed a new long-term contract in December, so any motivation for him to move would surely have to be financial. But logically speaking, there is no need for Chelsea to add another centre-back, especially one who’s already 27. While Roma do inevitably sell players every summer to meet FFP regulations, and Manolas had been on the verge of leaving multiple times, surely Chelsea are nothing more than pawns in this story of testing the market by the club or his agent.