Kostas Manolas is considered the best marker of 'calcio' and Barcelona have been following him for a while. The Greek international has always been on a list of defenders that Barcelona have been interested in and the club, this summer, earned the chance to sign him. With Thomas Vermaelen's loan to Roma they received an option to buy on Manolas.
Various Premier League clubs were interested but Roma did not want to sell him last summer. Manolas is conscious of the interest Barcelona have in him and has told the club that he would love to sign. He is good with the ball and stands out for the speed of his actions. His reference point is Carles Puyol and this says everything.
Barcelona knew that signing Manolas last summer was impossible. There is a clause in his contract that says Roma have to give 50 per cent of his transfer price to Olympiakos, where he came from. The Catalans went for Umtiti, after weighing up operations like Laporte and Marquinhos, which they found too expensive. However, they wanted the Greek player under their control. Manchester United and Bayern spoke to him last year, but Roma said he was untransferrable. If his progresion continues the way it has, the most probable thing is next summer he will leave Roma for a top level club.
Manolas is 25 and was signed by Roma at 23. He has never lost his starting spot, adapting perfectly to high quality football. His market price is over 25 million euros, although that could depend on if he signs a new contract with Roma. For the moment there is no deal and Roma feel they will have to sell him. Unfortunately Vermaelen has just played twice and Roma seem unlikely to take up their 8m purchase clause on him.
From Manolas' perspective, he and his people want to stay calm, have a good season and end up at Barcelona next season. There is time.