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Gunners trained on a trio of deals?

| 17.08.2014

Arsenal, who are 5/1 to win the Premier League, are reportedly close to a deal for Olympiakos centre back Kostas Manolas. The Greek defender is rumoured to be undergoing a medical with the London giants, and could cost Arsene Wenger a fee of around £8m.

Manolas would join the Emirates outfit as a replacement for former skipper Thomas Vermaelen, who left Arsenal for Barcelona this summer, following the loss of his first-team place.

Wenger recently spoke of his need for a new centre half, stating: “Vermaelen behaved outstandingly last year, I am grateful for him and I wish him very well.

“If I can find another centre back I will do it.”

The Gunners have apparently battled off interest from Italian champions Juventus to lead the chase for Manolas, as they continue to bolster their backline, despite the arrivals of right back Mathieu Debuchy and adaptable Calum Chambers.

It is unlikely Manolas, still just 23, would immediately dislodge one of defensive duo Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker, who has just signed a new contract at the club, but he would provide valuable back up. His arrival could also allow Chambers to plug other areas of the squad, with his versatility meaning he can be also be deployed as a full back or defensive midfielder.

Greek international Manolas, nephew of legend Stelios, has 13 caps for his country and was a key component in the Pirate Ship’s heroic World Cup rearguard. The youngster also already has significant top flight domestic experience, having made 66 league appearances for AEK Athens, before switching to current side Olympiakos in 2012.

Also of apparent interest to Arsenal boss Wenger, is precocious PSG starlet Adrien Rabiot. The dynamic 19-year-old has long been reported to be on Chelsea’s radar, but it appears the Gunners have emerged as favourites for the Frenchman’s signature.

Long rumoured to be in the market for a defensive midfielder, Rabiot, who can also operate in a more advanced and creative role, could be an ideal option for Arsenal. Wenger is believed to be keen on converting the youngster into an anchor, and could poach the PSG product for as little as £5.6m.

Free agent Samuel Eto’o meanwhile, is said to have his heart set on a move to the Emirates this summer. The former Chelsea and Barcelona forward has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs, with Everton, Liverpool, Spurs and Sunderland also supposedly keeping an eye on the Cameroon striker.

Wenger had been rumoured to be preparing a move for the prolific poacher, now 33, who netted 12 goals and contributed six assists for the Blues last season, but a deal has yet to materialise. However, it is believed if given the option, Eto’o would plump for a move to Emirates, with Arsenal, 2/1 to finish outside the top four, seen as the experienced attacker’s preferred destination.

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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.