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Arsenal make enquiry over Olympiakos centre-back

Kevin Palmer | ESPN FC
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Kostas Manolas impressed for his nation at the World Cup © Getty Images
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Arsenal have contacted Olympiakos to discuss the availability of Greece centre-back Kostas Manolas, sources have told ESPN.

Manolas, 23, caught the eye at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, as he played a key role in a Greek side that came within touching distance of place in the quarter-finals, before they lost out to Costa Rica in a penalty shootout.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is looking to add strength in depth to his defensive options as he looks to fill a void in his squad created by Thomas Vermaelen's departure to Barcelona.

"If [Calum] Chambers goes into midfield, we are short at the back," said Wenger, who has previously hinted he is keen to sign a central defender. "If we find somebody, we will do it."

ESPN sources suggest Arsenal's working relationship with Olympiakos is strong following the successful loan move of striker Joel Campbell to the Greek club last season, but the Gunners have competition for the signature of Manolas.

"We are not willing to negotiate his sale for less than £8 million," Olympiakos strategic advisor and former Real Madrid midfielder Christian Karembeu told reporters.

"We have not set a deadline for clubs to bid but, if we receive the right offer, we're willing to sell him. Otherwise, we will keep him.

"Juventus are interested and have made a sound offer. They are not the only ones interested in him, though. In the last few days, interesting proposals have also arrived from England."

A stumbling block in the deal may be Manolas' eagerness to be a first-team regular at his next club, with the settled Arsenal centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny set to resume their successful partnership.

This article first appeared on ESPN FC

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