Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is reportedly keen on acquiring the services of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. The Gunners are due to part ways with manager Arsene Wenger during the summer and his departure is likely to coincide with a major defensive overhaul.
According to The Independent, Mislintat is working with the Gunners’ head of football relations Raul Sanllehi in order to rebuild the backline which is likely to include a younger replacement for goalkeeper Petr Cech.
It is added that the north London club have identified Sokratis as one of their prime defensive targets and they could make an approach when the transfer window reopens in a couple of months’ time.
Arsenal’s defence has struggled to keep clean sheets during the second half of the campaign and much of their troubles have existed at the heart of the backline where Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have underperformed.
Moreover, Koscielny has most recently sustained a long-term Achilles problem and this is likely to intensify the club’s pursuit for a new centre-back in the upcoming transfer window.
The Gunners players had hoped to end Wenger’s final season on a high with a trophy but it was not to be after they were ousted by Atletico Madrid by a 2-1 aggregate in the Europa League semi-final.
Despite this, there is still plenty of stake in the final month of the season and the club cannot afford to drop further down the Premier League table with just three games left under Wenger’s management.
Arsenal are currently three points ahead of Burnley in the pursuit of the sixth position and a home win over the Clarets on Sunday would certainly seal the spot ahead of their remaining two fixtures on the road, where they have yet to pick up a point in 2018.