Arsenal close in on £16 million Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos according to German reports
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Arsenal are closing in on £16 million Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos according to reports coming from Germany.
As Unai Emery Emirates revolution gathers pace, head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, is said to be interested in the 30-year-old defender.
The former AEK Athens Greek international with 79 caps has impressed during his five years in the Bundesliga at the Westfalenstadion.
Prior to joining the Bundesliga side he played for Genoa for two seasons following a disappointing 24 month year spell at the San Siro with AC Milan between 2010 and 2012 before rebuilding his career with Werden Bremen.
Peter Stoger’s Schwarzgelben are demanding £16m for the player known as Sokratis, £3m more than Arsenal value him at – but such is Mislintat’s desire to land the Kalamata-born defender it is understood the difference will not be a deal breaker.
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If Arsenal’s head of recruitment does capture him it will be the second time this year he has signed a player from Dortmund, after splashing out £56m for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.
According to German club’s sporting director Michael Zorc, speaking to Revier Sport the deal with Arsenal is close to completion, but he added: “Things are not completely finalised yet.”
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Sokratis has been in demand this summer with his father, Charalambos, claiming Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were in talks with Dortmund in a bid to capture him earlier this month.
However, the defender many rate as one of the best in Europe over the last few years, is said to have snubbed the Old Trafford outfit in favour of a move to the Emirates.
Speaking to a Greek radio show in early June the star’s dad said: “There was interest from United.
“United have a very good relationship with Dortmund, the teams were talking more closely [but] he chose to go to Arsenal instead.”
Mislintat sees Sokratis as the perfect replacement for the injured Laurent Koscielny and is looking to revamp the defence Emery has inherited, which is a legacy of a poor final season under the long-serving Arsene Wenger.
With mainstay Koscielny ruled out after suffering a serious achilles injury against Atletico Madrid during the Europa League semi-final second leg in Spain in early May, the pair have already acted by recruiting Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno.
Sokratis has featured 198 times for Dortmund, wining the DFC Cup and the Super Cup twice.
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29