Credit Roma with this much: despite their continual frustrations on the transfer market over the years (think Mahrez, Podolski, Mutu etc.), when they set their mind to keeping one of their own, they’re generally pretty successful at hashing out new deals for their star players. Over the past couple of seasons we’ve seen the club lockdown Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and even Federico Fazio, and well, today it’s Kostas Manolas’ turn at bat.
Today what had been rumored for weeks was made official, Manolas signed a new three-year contract extension with the club, one that will see him earn €3.5 million a year through the 2022 season. On his new deal, Manolas was (obviously) quite happy, saying ““I am very happy to sign this extension...I wanted to stay, the club wanted me to stay, and we were able to reach an agreement. I’m ready to do the best I can, as I always have, for this team. I want to win something with this club.”
While that’s all well and good there is the matter of the always controversial release clause, a subtle but important detail that has wounded Roma in the past. Rumor has it that Manolas’ new deal comes with a €35 to €37 million kicker that is rumored to be valid both in Italy and abroad.
And that’s not minor contractual idiosyncracy either. Manolas is back to his former self, and as such should remain a constant source of transfer rumors for every Premiership club seeking an absurdly athletic central defender. Granted, the precise value of a buyout clause is all part of the negotiation process, but when a club like Roma can pay €42 million for a prospect like Patrik Schick, €37 million for someone like Manolas, who is still just 26-years-old and has several seasons of production under his belt, is a relatively paltry sum.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Unlike Pjanic before him, Manolas doesn’t appear to have any ulterior motives or back channel dealings going on, so we can take him at his word and assume he truly does love playing in Roma, where his intensity and ferocious style of play should see him carry the mantle as the club’s beating heart once Daniele De Rossi retires.
It’s been a bit of a rough year or so for Manolas, who seemed flatout exhausted at the tail end of the 2016-2017 season, but despite another summer of upheaval at the club, Manolas has reasserted himself as the leader of Roma’s defensive line, one that has only allowed 10 goals in league play, level with Napoli and Inter Milan for the league’s best mark.
From the €14 million kid brought in to replace Mehdi Benatia to the one of the pillars of a title-contending team, it’s been quite a journey for Manolas. His stellar play, blinding athleticism and willingness to punch Juventus players has already earned him a place in the Roman heart, and three more years of that might see him reach an exalted status reserved only for true club legends.
So, however you say congratulations in Greek...give me a second....Συγχαρητήρια....let’s say that to Manolas.
Greece Lightning will be burnin’ up the quarter mile for a few more years!