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The Gunners continue to be held up in their pursuit of a centre-back to replace Thomas Vermaelen, who has joined Barcelona, while Roma are also interested in the Greek defender

EXCLUSIVE
By William Joyce

Arsenal's bid to sign Kostas Manolas as a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen continues to stall over personal terms.

Manolas has been targeted as a replacement for Vermaelen, who left the Gunners for Barcelona earlier in the summer after falling behind central defensive pairing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the pecking order.

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Goal understands Arsenal held fresh talks with the Olympiakos defender's representatives on Friday after being quoted an £8 million transfer fee to sign the Greece international.

The centre-back even completed a medical with the north London side in anticipation of agreeing to the move earlier in August.

But the Gunners and Manolas remain apart in the terms of the deal, and Roma are now understood to have emerged as rivals for the centre-back's signature.

Roma look set to sell Mehdi Benatia, who has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

And Manolas has been lined up as a replacement for Benatia by the Serie A side, whose season kicks off at home against Fiorentina on Saturday.

However, Arsenal remain in the hunt for Manolas, who could yet make the £8m switch to north London.

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