Long term Chelsea target attempts to play down exit talk

AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas has played down talks of him moving to London this summer.

The Greek defender has been one of the most outstanding and consistent centre backs in Italy this season, and several top European sides have taken notice.

The Blues have been scouting Manolas throughout this season as they planned for the replacement of outgoing club legend John Terry, and Antonio Conte thought his Italian roots would give him an edge in the race for the defender.

However, it turns out the defender is very loyal to the Rome-based club’s cause and is focused on becoming a very important player at the club.

The player recently reiterated his desire to help Roma get back to the Champion’s League group stage ahead of their last league match of the season.

Manolas, 25, has a contract with Roma until the summer of 2019, and the club is set to offer him a new extension to that deal when the season comes to an end.

The Blues boss had Manolas at the top of his transfer wishlist, but will now turn his attention to other targets, with Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk likely heading to Stamford Bridge.

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