Arsenal are understood to have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund to secure the signing of Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, The Telegraph reports. The 29-year-old is set to become the Gunners’ second signing of the summer transfer window after Stephan Lichtsteiner’s Bosman agreement to join the club.
Sokratis has pretty much been linked with the Gunners since the end of the 2017/18 season and his father Charalambos confirmed earlier in the week that the move is almost done.
As such, the Greek’s potential transfer could be considered as one of the worst kept secrets and The Telegraph have now confirmed that he would be joining the Gunners for a fee of around £16m.
The former Werder Bremen is also expected to sign a three-year deal with the north London giants but the publication suggests that the move won’t be made official until next month.
No reasons have been given behind the so-called delay but Dortmund may be interested in signing a replacement first before announcing the end of the Greek’s seven-year stay in the German Bundesliga.
Arsenal have basically concentrated on bolstering the backline during the summer transfer window and this has surely become a necessity, considering how the defence underperformed during the previous league campaign.
The north London outfit conceded a staggering tally of 51 in just 38 top-flight games last term and much of this resulted from the poor decision-making in the central defensive department in particular.
As such, Sokratis will add some much-needed experience and depth into the position and his arrival will also provide the Gunners with a captaincy candidate amid Laurent Koscielny’s long-term injury absence.
Sokratis has genuine leadership credentials after having captained AEK Athens at the tender age of 19 but it will be interesting to see whether Unai Emery regards the Greek as a contender with Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in the squad.