Kostas Manolas targeted to replace Jeremy Mathieu
Manolas in action for Olympiakos during their pre-season tour in North America.

Following Jeremy Mathieu's departure to Barcelona last week, Valencia have turned their attentions to finding a replacement - with Kostas Manloas heading the shortlist.

Manolas formed a rock solid partnership with Dortmund defender Sokratis at the World Cup this summer, only helping to enhance his already promising reputation. The defender plays his club football in his native country with Olympiakos, playing a featured role in their famous Champions League win over Manchester United last season.

The 23-year old is a confident ball-player with great athleticism - a necessary requirement if Valencia are to adequately replace the departing Mathieu. As well as losing Mathieu to Barcelona, the club have also recently parted ways with their other centre back and club captain Ricardo Costa. The 33-year old agreed to leave the club with a year still left on his contract. Valencia are yet to bring any defensive recruits in this summer, while simultaenously losing both of their starting centre backs from last season.

The urgency to plug the defensive gaps is becoming a pressing issue for the Spanish club and Valencia are expected to open negotiations with Manolas and his representatives very soon.

Despite there being a number of other European clubs interested in Manolas, there has been no official bids for the defender as of yet.

The Greek defender has 2 years left on his contract with Olympiakos and it's thought that Valencia would have to pay between €5-10 million for his services.