Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas


Roma head coach Luciano Spalletti insists that Kostas Manolas is happy at the club and will not be sold in the transfer window.

The Greece international has been linked with a number of Premier League sides, with his agent claiming that Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea were all monitoring his situation in the Italian capital.

However, Roma president James Pallotta said last week that there was no reason for the centre-back to leave as he was enjoying life at the Stadio Olimpico.

And Spalletti has echoed those comments, saying Manolas will not be sold even though rumours in the media have created "problems".

"I think it's easy for those of you [journalists] who are here in close contact with the team to see that there's no pressure," he said. 

"Manolas is a good player, like many others, and it's normal that other clubs should be interested in good players. But the lad's intentions are very clear - there's no pressure there.

"When people start talking about pressure it creates problems even when there isn't actually any. Manolas is staying at Roma."

Despite his stance on Manolas' future, Spalletti remains on the look-out for potential reinforcements in defence before the start of the season.

"We already have a very well-equipped squad but obviously if opportunities arise we'll try to improve it," he said. "We'll probably see if we can bring in another defender but that would be above and beyond what we already have here - which is a well-rounded squad."

Serie A champions Juventus appear set to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli for a fee in the region of EUR94million, having already bought Miralem Pjanic from Roma for EUR32m as part of an extensive recruitment drive.

Spalletti expects Juve to remain a fearsome opponent irrespective of Higuain's future, or that of Paul Pogba, who remains heavily linked with a world-record move to Manchester United.

"Juventus will become what they already were before: an extremely good team," he added.

"They will remain an excellent team regardless of whether or not they sell Pogba and whether or not they sign Higuain.

"Juventus have sold top players in the past who they then replaced. Napoli will do likewise and so will Roma, as we've sold some players. The wheels of the transfer market need to keep turning and that means there are always opportunities."