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£8m Arsenal target not included in squad despite being fit as speculation mounts

Arsenal target Kostas Manolas has been excluded from the Olympiakos squad for tonight’s game.

Speculation over the future of Arsenal target Kostas Manolas is mounting this weekend after the defender was pulled from Olympiakos’ Greece Super League clash with Niki Volos.

Reports state that the 23-year-old centre-back is fit to play but it’s likely that the Greek giants are wrapping him up in cotton wool ahead of a proposed sale before the transfer window deadline.

The Gunners have been leading the chase for the defender and were given a boost this weekend as his agent Ioannis Evangelopoulos ruled out a meeting with reported transfer rivals AS Roma.

"No, there will be no meeting with the Roma for Manolas. I do not really know if this will be possible." He said, quoted by Italian publication Tuttomercato.

Seven players have so far moved to the Emirates this summer, including the £16 million acquisition of versatile defender Calum Chambers from Southampton, though it appears with the sale of Thomas Vermaelen the defence still needs bolstering.

Greek international Manolas is a 6ft 1inch centre-back and has been described as comfortable in possession with excellent reading of the game.

A possible Emirates arrival will see him team up with Costa Rican international Joel Campbell who was plying his trade at Olympiakos on loan last season.

Despite signing a new deal in March, it is said that the Greek defender’s club will be willing to do business with potential suitors should they receive a bid in the region of £8 million.

Manolas has represented the current Greek champions 49 times since joining them in 2012, winning the Greece Super League title twice and the Greek Cup in 2013.

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