Juventus start talks for Arsenal linked defender

Juventus have reportedly made a move for Olympiacos defender Kostas Manolas, who may also be on Arsenal's shopping list.

The bidding war for Kostas Manolas may be about to start as Italian champions Juventus have made contact with Olympiacos over the defender.

The Greek international centre-back is expected to move to a bigger club this summer and has caught the eye of a host of sides.

The 23-year-old was impressive at the World Cup and was named in the list of the 50 best players at the competition.

Roma are said to see Manolas as a possible replacement for Mehdi Benatia should he join Chelsea, and Arsenal have been tipped to sign him to fill the gap left by Thomas Vermaelen.

The Telegraph believes that Arsene Wenger is tempted by Manolas as a straight replacement for Vermaelen and understudy to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

But Arsenal may have to make their move quickly because according to reports in Italy, Juventus are moving in on Manolas.

Juventus sporting director Beppe Marotta appears to have spoken to Olympiacos and is hoping to progress negotiations before any other clubs get a chance to jump in.

However, Olympiacos are unlikely to agree a deal before they give other sides a chance to present offers and will probably be hoping to spark something of a bidding war to drag his price up.

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