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Man Utd transfer news: Why Mino Raiola may not deliver Kostas Manolas to Manchester United | Football | Sport

United are on the hunt for a new defensive talisman having experienced plenty of problems at the back this season.

A whole host of potential targets have been lined up, with moves for Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar and Toby Alderweireld mooted.

Roma star Manolas is believed to be on Manchester United’s radar due to a relatively modest £32.5m (€36m) release clause being written into his contract.

And there has been talk that Raiola could facilitate a deal because he now represents the Greece international.

Raiola has worked with United before, helping them to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

However, ESPN indicate the excitement generated by him being Manolas’ agent is premature.

It is said that Raiola was involved when Manolas left his homeland to link up with Roma back in 2014.

So the fact he is now representing the centre-back does not necessarily mean the 27-year-old will be on his way to Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, United are reported to be very interested in getting Manolas on board to shore up their defence.

There are, though, two reasons he is unlikely to swap Rome for Manchester during the January transfer window.

The first is the fact his release clause does not activate until the summer so Roma could demand a huge fee for him now.

The other is that Roma are determined to keep hold of Manolas as they seek to secure Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, Napoli ace Koulibaly is another option for United having impressed at the Stadio San Paolo.

Liverpool hero John Aldridge believes the Reds should also be in the running for a player of the Senegal international’s ilk.

“This is not a moment for Liverpool to hit the panic button,” Aldridge said.

“But I would urge the club to consider making a move in the transfer market that could allow them to fit the final piece of a title-winning jigsaw into place.

“Dejan Lovren was a weak link in the defence once again as Jurgen Klopp’s men lost their first Premier League game of the season at Manchester City and I suspect the Croatian will need to be replaced sooner rather than later if this team are to turn potential into success.

“We have seen the impact made by Virgil van Dijk since his £75m arrival last January and I wonder whether a move for a powerhouse defender like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly could give Klopp’s side the bit they need at the back.

“Top-quality opposition continue to get joy out of targeting Lovren, as he as a tendency to lose concentration and this is why I believe Van Dijk needs an A-list defensive partner.”

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