£8m asking price set for top Arsenal target - can he be Vermaelen's replacement?

Arsenal are believed to be pursuing Olympiacos defender Kostas Manolas – and the Greek side have now set their asking price.

The Gunners have followed up their 3-2 FA Cup final win over Hull City with four new signings as David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez have all arrived at the Emirates Stadium this summer. Three of those players impressed at the World Cup, and now manager Arsene Wenger is looking to snap up another player who starred in Brazil.

Greek defender Kostas Manolas impressed alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the heart of Fernando Santos' defence, and having sold Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona for £15m last week, Arsenal want to reinvest some of the money in 23-year-old Manolas as cover for first choice pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Already this week, speculation has suggested that the Gunners have opened talks with Olympiacos over a deal for Manolas, and talk of a move only grew louder when the former AEK Athens youngster was left out of the squad for Olympiacos' friendly against Athletic Bilbao.

Now, Olympiacos strategic advisor Christian Karembeu has confirmed that there have been offers from English clubs as well as Juventus - but the club won't sell for less than €10m (£8m).

"Juventus are interested and have made a sound offer," said Karembeu. "They are not the only ones interested in him, though ... In the last few days interesting proposals have also arrived from England. We are in contact with Juve chief Giuseppe Marotta; we will see in the next few days if any meetings come from this.

"We are not willing to negotiate his sale for less than €10m. We have not set a deadline for clubs to bid but, if we receive the right offer, we are willing to sell him. Otherwise, we will keep him."

The Frenchman, who won the World Cup in 1998, also confirmed that Manolas had approached him about the possibility of leaving this summer.

"Yes, Manolas confronted me recently," added the former Middlesbrough midfielder. "This is normal - he's a young guy and for the first time he is seeing his name linked with major European clubs. I'm not shocked by the attention he's getting. We were sure he would become a player with a lot of international interest in the transfer market, even more so after his great World Cup performances.

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