Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos could reportedly be available this summer and Arsenal have emerged as the front-runners for his signature.
Arsenal’s summer plans are rapidly taking shape, and it seems that the Gunners are the front-runners to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the summer. The Bild reports on the story, claiming that Dortmund are ready to let the experienced defender leave this summer, paving the way clear for the Gunners.
Arsenal’s defensive problems have been well documented this season with the Gunners leaking in more goals than any other top seven side in the Premier League. It won’t be a surprise if the North Londoners reinforce in the defensive areas, with a centre-back high on the priority list of transfers.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has provided a solid presence at Borussia Dortmund for some seasons now and at 29, he would be entering his prime as a defender. A move to the Premier League might sound promising for a player such as Sokratis, as it could become his final big contract.
Sven Mislintat, Arsenal’s new head of recruitment, has identified three core areas of the spine that he would like to rebuild. These positions include that of a goalkeeper, a defender and a midfielder. Meanwhile, with Arsene Wenger leaving this summer, it is reported that the Gunners might have a tiny fraction of their usual budget, meaning making shrewd signings could also become a necessity.
Bild reports that Sokratis could be available for as little as £17.5 million in the summer, as the defender would be entering the last year of his contract at Dortmund. There have been no news of a contract extension offered from Dortmund’s end, which could efficiently see them cashing in on the defender.
Sokratis has made 196 appearances in all competition for Borussia Dortmund and is likely be attracted towards an offer from the Premier League, a place from where he has garnered plenty of interest. Last summer, Arsenal and Chelsea were linked with a move, but nothing materialised, and he stayed put at Dortmund.
Sokratis has won few honours in his playing career, including the Serie A during his AC Milan days as well as the DFB Pokal and two German Super Cups with Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal, on the other hand, would represent a late switch in his career although potentially a good one for both parties.
With both Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi being inconsistent, Sokratis’s arrival could see the Greek defender be just the catalyst at the heart of defence, while also being a mentor to Calum Chambers. It now remains to be seen if the Dortmund man indeed makes his way to Arsenal in the summer, with the Gunners set to usher in a new era.