TRANSFER WINDOW: AEK Athens confirm Everton interest in Manolas

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AEK Athens director of football, Arnar Gretarsson, has confirmed that Everton have expressed an interest in their defender Kostas Manolas.

Everton were first linked with the Greece Under-21 International last month and now the AEK Athens director has added weight to that rumour, but denied any bid has been received.

Gretarsson told skysports.com: “I know that Everton is interested in Kostas Manolas.

“They follow the player and there is a serious interest but nothing official so far.”

Manolas has played for the Greek Under-21 team five times and has been called up to the full international squads without making an appearance.

Everton have done their homework on the 20-year-old. The Merseyside club sent scouts to watch Manolas several times.

Gretarsson continued: “Their scouts came to Greece four times to see Kostas. I remember that in the last few weeks they sent a scout to see Manolas against Anderlecht and the assistant of David Moyes to see him at the league game against Atromitos.

“So far, we don’t have any official talks. It’s in their hands to make an offer and start negotiating. They know what we are asking to sell him.

“I spoke with the agent who has the mandate from Everton but I didn’t speak so far with someone from the English club.”

Should David Moyes sign Manolas he would provide insurance against Sylvain Distan leaving ahead of his contract expiring in the summer. The Toffees also saw Phil Jagielka limp out of the Premier League defeat to Bolton.

Everton are yet to discover the extent of Jagielka’s injury but Manolas would be an able deputy should Jagielka be ruled out for any length of time.

Moyes said: “We’ve got one or two knocks but I haven’t had a chance to find out how they are yet,” he said. “We will assess them over the next few days.”

Everton may face competition to sign Manolas as the Greek’s agent, Chris Nathaniel, said a number of clubs are tracking the youngster.