After Roma’s exceptional comeback triumph against Barcelona in the Champions League plenty of Tottenham fans quickly pointed out one of their club’s flops was fully involved in the win. Federico Fazio was a rock at the back for the Giallorossi throughout, surprising Spurs fans who never saw the best out of the Argentine. But Tottenham fans should forget all about him, and focus their attention on his defensive partner for the night, Kostas Manolas.
Why? Because this summer the club should certainly consider making a move for the man now dubbed the ‘Greek God’.
He stole the show by heading home Cengiz Under’s cross and giving Roma the vital third goal they required to win the tie on away goals.
But whilst his attacking display stole the headlines, it was his defensive one which should garner attention.
Manolas was superb at the back for Roma, as he has been for much of his time in the Italian capital since joining from Olympiakos in 2014.
He has been one of Serie A’s standout defenders and Tottenham Hotspur would be wise to keep him in mind as a potential transfer target. This summer Spurs are looking likely to need a new central defender. Toby Alderweireld looks like he is leaving the club and whilst there is a lot of faith in youngster Davinson Sanchez another more experienced option, should also arrive if Spurs are to challenge on both the domestic and European front.
Last summer it seemed Manolas was on his way out of the Stadio Olimpico, but a move to Juventus never materialised.
But Manolas is exactly the type of defender Tottenham need and they have a strong chance of signing him if they did make an approach.
Manolas signed a new deal at Roma in December. However, according to Pagine Romaniste, the deal contains a €37 million buyout clause (£32.25 million). That is an absolute bargain in today’s market for a player of Manolas’ quality.
Also, whilst Roma may have toppled Barcelona to make the semi-finals of the Champions League, it has not been plain sailing for them in Serie A this term.
They currently sit fourth in the table in a three-way battle for the final two Champions League places. Inter Milan are just behind Roma by one point at present, with city rivals Lazio ahead by the same tally.
Roma could therefore easily miss out on the Champions League next season, which would give Tottenham a massive lure for the Greek international.
This summer, Spurs are set to be linked with a host of centre-backs if Alderweireld does, as expected, leave.
In the current market, at £32.25 million, there are not many better options out there than Roma’s Champions League hero.