Arsenal are closing in on signing Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to BBC, the Telegraph, Sky Sports and various other sources. The reported sum which the club would pay for the centre-back is £16million.
At 29, Sokratis has a year remaining on his contract at Dortmund. Along with Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner who is set to join Arsenal for free, the Greece international would represent another low-cost experienced addition to the squad’s defence department. Given the reported size of the funds available for transfers this summer, this is certainly the type of targets the club will be going for.
The first signing Sven Mislintat made was Konstantinos Mavropanos, another Greek player, but very young. Also, Sokratis would become the third signing overseen by Mislintat that previously played for the new head of recruitment’s former employer – Borussia Dortmund, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
With his experience, Sokratis should help Arsenal feel the absence of captain Laurent Koscielny less. Adding him, as well as Lichsteiner into the mix should bring the defence into balance age-wise. It would represent a good counterweight to the likes of Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles – all still very young.
Meanwhile, in other transfer news, French outlet Le10 Sport claim Arsenal want another experienced Juventus defender, the 31-year-old Mehdi Benatia, while Sky Sports quote their own sources in saying that the Gunners tried to snatch Fabinho from under Liverpool’s very nose over the weekend, but the 24-year-old central midfielder had already decided on a move from Monaco to Merseyside. Emery is an admirer of the Brazilian and he tried to sign him for Paris Saint-Germain during his stint in the French capital.
Again, given Arsenal’s budget limit and the report that Liverpool have agreed to pay up to £52million for Fabinho, it wasn’t really going to happen.