Arsenal yet to finalise deal for £16m-rated defender

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has made a surprise remark regarding Arsenal’s ongoing pursuit of Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Earlier this month, The Telegraph confirmed that the Gunners had finalised a £16m deal for the Greece international but Zorc has now dismissed any sort of agreement between the clubs.

Speaking exclusively to Revier Sport, Zorc hinted that Sokratis may end up joining the Gunners during the summer but the move has not been ‘completely finalised’. Dortmund adopted a similar ploy with the media during the Gunners’ pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last winter and Zorc appears to be taking an identical stance on the Greek footballer.

Despite this, a Gunners move for Sokratis seems already in the pipeline with his father personally confirming the prospective transfer and it could only be a matter of time before both clubs announce the agreement. New manager Unai Emery has placed a keen emphasis on strengthening the defensive side of the Gunners’ game during the current transfer window and so far, they appear to be progressing in the right route.

To date, they have acquired the signature of right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and goalkeeper Bernd Leno and this could soon be followed by the signing of midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. The Uruguay international has been heavily tipped to join the Gunners since the start of June and an agreement could be close to completion with Sampdoria president confirming that the club have already sanctioned his sale.

Should things go as planned, Torreira could be regarded as a direct replacement for Jack Wilshere, who has declined to extend his contract at the Emirates. The Englishman has his Gunners contract expiring at the end of the month and he has decided to pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere after failing to receive assurances of regular gametime under Emery.

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