According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal are nearing a deal with Borussia Dortmund for defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The 29-year-old has been identified by Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat who plans to bolster the Gunners’ backline after they conceded 51 goals in 38 Premier League games last season.
Sokratis joined Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013 and has gone on to make 198 appearances in all competitions, winning the DFB-Pokal. The Greek international was a regular for the Bundesliga giants last season, making 30 league appearances as they finished fourth in the division.
His deal has just 12 months to run and rather than extend his stay at the Westfalenstadion, Sokratis has opted to make the switch to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal aren’t short of options at the back, but they have a lot of inexperienced centre-backs and could be without two of their leaders next season.
Per Mertesacker is hanging up his boots over the summer to become Arsenal’s Academy head, while Laurent Koscielny could be out for the majority of 2018 with a serious ankle injury. The French international has a chronic achilles injury which could limit his playing time when he does return.
As a result, the Gunners need some new defenders and Sokratis is expected to be one of many new additions this summer, with Mislintat desperate to fix Arsenal’s porous backline.