Barcelona and Real Madrid are expected to have busy transfer periods in January and are targeting a few names who are mutual. One of a common target has now spoken about the interest in him.
Roma defender Kostas Manolas signed a contract at the Stadio Olimpico last season and will be at the club until June 2022. The newly signed deal has a release clause of 36 million euros which is a pretty nominal price for any suitor to pay for, for the Greece international’s services.
However, Manolas has absolutely no intentions of leaving the Giallorossi but has admitted that interest from either Barcelona or Real Madrid would be difficult to reject in spite of club legend Francesco Totti setting an example by doing so in the peak of his career.
Manolas told Gazzetta Dello Sport: “If a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona were to come along, apart from Francesco Totti who turned them down, I think everyone would think about it.
“We’d then have to evaluate the conditions because I can assure you that it’s not easy for anyone to leave Roma.”
“Totti was fundamental in convincing me to stay. I spoke to him more than I did [director of sport] Monchi.”
“I don’t feel like a leader and I am not the captain. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been here for many years. We are all the same in the locker room. Now talented young players have arrived and they need our help. All I can pledge is that I’ll give my all.”
The Greek also said that he could turn down a deal from anyone else who was even willing to pay his release clause.
The 27-year-old defender added: “I renewed my contract and I think I deserved it. I could’ve left two or three times last season, but I didn’t do it and I had my best campaign here.
“I’ve never been asked to remove the clause. In any case, I don’t think the clause is that low. Football prices have gone through the roof and beyond normality, so if Roma considers it inadequate as a sum, they can call me to discuss it.
“I had been very close to Zenit St Petersburg, but I saw the figures were all in Rubles. I asked them to change it to dollars and they refused. When they changed their minds days later, I’d already made my decision. It was destiny.”
Author’s Take :
Manolas has been in Rome since 2014 and is in his fifth season at the club. He will shortly close in on 200 appearances for them after emerging as an integral player in every manager’s squad. He is a world class defender and it would be nice to see him at Barcelona or Real Madrid, though the Catalans don’t have really good memories of him and would be dreading his name.