Manchester United’s seemingly never-ending search for a new world class centre-back could see them splash out on Roma’s Greek ace Kostas Manolas this month.
A host of reports have claimed recently that United are set to spend around £32m on Manolas in the January transfer window as they strive to bolster their defensive options.
Eric Bailly is seemingly the first-choice defender at Old Trafford (when not injured or suspended) while Victor Lindelof has improved greatly this season.
But it would likely be the Swede who would make way should Manolas join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side before January 31.
How do the two defenders compare and should Man United spend big on yet another centre-back?
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Kostas Manolas vs Victor Lindelof: Age and longevity
Manolas will be 28 years old this summer, a prime age for a centre-back. He already has a wealth of top-level experience having been a mainstay of Roma’s side for the past five years.
Manolas could easily be United’s first-choice for the next five years.
Lindelof struggled in his first year at United last season following a £30m move from Benfica. But now at 24 years old, he has started to show more consistency and still has time to improve.
Being named Sweden’s best defender in 2016 shows his credentials but United may have doubts over whether he can reach an elite level.
Kostas Manolas vs Victor Lindelof: Record in recent years
Manolas has been one of Roma’s best players in recent seasons, making 40-plus appearances for the club in each campaign since joining from Olympaikos.
He also has a good knack of scoring and netted four times last term.
Lindelof was superb in his final year at Benfica but struggled to continue that form after moving to England. He made 17 Premier League appearances last term, keeping five clean sheets.
Kostas Manolas vs Victor Lindelof: Record this season
Manolas has played 21 games for Roma so far this term, with the club claiming five shut-outs in matches he’s featured in.
The Italians have struggled in Serie A and are currently sixth, 23 points behind leaders Juventus. They have let in 24 goals, with only Atalanta shipping more in the league’s top ten.
Lindelof has also made 21 appearances for United but the Red Devils’ have been woeful at the back.
They currently boast the joint-worse defensive record of any club in the Premier League’s top 11 clubs and only six top-flight teams have conceded more.
Kostas Manolas vs Victor Lindelof: On the international stage
Due to Greece’s poor showings in recent years, Manolas has not made any major impressions on the international scene. He has 39 caps to his name but has failed to get his country to the last two major tournaments.
Lindelof is arguably Sweden’s best defender and has 29 caps to date. He helped them to the quarter-finals of last summer’s World Cup where they were dumped out by England.