Napoli’s title challenge boosted by arrival of Manolas

ROME (AP) — Centre back Kostas Manolas has transferred from Roma to Napoli in a deal worth EUR36 million that should boost the southern club’s Serie A title credentials, the club announced last Sunday.

The 28-year-old Manolas joins Kalidou Koulibaly in what could become one of the top centre back pairings in the Italian league.

Napoli have not won Serie A since Diego Maradona led the club to their only two titles in 1987 and 1990 but coach Carlo Ancelotti is bolstering his squad in his second season with the Partenopei.

Manolas replaces Raul Albiol, who is reportedly moving to Villarreal.

Manolas’ crowning achievement with Roma came when he scored the decisive goal against Barcelona to send Roma to the Champions League semifinals in 2018.

Manolas played five seasons with Roma after starting his career in his native Greece.

File photo shows Roma defender Kostas Manolas and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale vying for the ball during a Champions League match. – AP