Arsenal are in advanced talks with Borussia Dortmund with regards to the transfer of center back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Di Marzio.
The North London club’s defence has been under serious scrutiny this season where they have conceded 51 goals, clearly not good enough for a club like Arsenal who’s invincible squad was known for its strong defence combined with a tough midfield.
The 29-year-old Greek defender has been with Borussia Dortmund since 2013 and has made 198 appearances for the German side, he was expected to cost a fee of €15M to €20M but after a becoming a key defender for the German giants his fee will most definitely have inflated to at least £25m.
The report states that Mikel Arteta is the front-runner to become the next Arsenal manager while he expects Sokratis Papastathopoulos to be the first signing of the post-Wenger era. The transfer fee will be around £17m(as per Metro).
The new Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat whose excellent relationship with players’ representatives across Europe would be of additional help in signing the Greek defender, who Mislintat previously signed during his time with Borussia Dortmund.
Despite scoring more goals than Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, It was this error-prone defense which cost the Gunners a valuable top-four spot for the second season running, leaving the North London side in the Europa league yet again.
With the transfer window opening on May 17th this season, Sven Mislintat will see strengthening the defence as his priority following a season which saw the Gunners concede just 5 fewer than the relegated West Brom side.
Per Mertersacker’s retirement, Laurent Koscielny’s Achilles injury, which leaves him out for at least 6 months, and Shkodran Mustafi’s inconsistent season will leave the Gunners short in central defence leaving the young trio of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Mavropanos as their only recognised centre backs, with Nacho Monreal often moving out of his preferred fullback position to fill in at center back.
Çağlar Söyüncü of Freiburg, Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and PSG full-back Layvin Kurzawa are the other defenders linked with a move to the Emirates this summer. West Brom captain Jonny Evans is another potential transfer, who Arsenal could sign for a bargain £3m after West Brom’s relegation to the Championship.
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