Man United in talks to strike £32m deal for €70,000-a-week central defender

Manchester United are reportedly in negotiations to sign AS Roma central defender Kostas Manolas and are ‘prepared to pay’ his buyout clause, according to reports in the Italian press.

The Red Devils have long sought a new centre-half, with Jose Mourinho making the position his priority, and Red Devils remain keen to strengthen their back-line in spite of the Portuguese manager’s departure last month.

Kostas is one of the highest rated defenders in Italy but, according to an Italian daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, can be purchased for just €36 million (£32 million).

United are ready to trigger the exit clause, but it only becomes active in the summer market – though there is nothing to stop them negotiating a sum with AS Roma now.

Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to have been asked for his opinion on both possible signings and players who could leave the club in the summer.

AS Roma’s management are confident of keeping Kostas Manolas in January transfer window, though they have already begun looking for potential replacements with Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen top of their wishlist.