Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos reportedly has several offers to leave North London, with some offers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar described as 'very rich offers'.
The 32-year-old has been in North London since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and he has since made almost 70 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners. He was a late substitute as the club claimed their 14th FA Cup title in August.
However, Sokratis has not entirely won fans over, and with his penchant for being caught out of position and making errors, he has failed to cement his place in the team.
The arrivals of Gabrial Magalhaes and William Saliba this summer have further pushed Sokratis down the pecking order and the club are said to be willing to listen to offers for the former Werder Bremen defender.
Napoli are among the clubs interested in his services but it appears that a potential move for the Greek international is not as solid as first believed. The Serie A side had sought to use him as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, with the Senegalese international having been linked with a move to Manchester City.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli and Sokratis have a concrete agreement in place. The Greece international, who also has other offers from the Middle East and in the Premier League, is said to be considering his options.
He has reportedly agreed with Arsenal to leave the club for free, with Napoli agreeing to terms for a three-year deal of €4m post-tax but any move hinges on the sale of Koulibaly.
Sokratis set for Arsenal departure, but why would he leave for free?
With just one year left on his contract, Arsenal have decided to let Sokratis leave for free rather than seek a transfer fee and given the current climate, it might be in their economic interests to do so.
At 32, the defender does not have much resale value, and given that Arteta's side are currently overstaffed in the center of defence, it makes no sense to keep the player in the squad.
The Arsenal wage bill is cumbersome enough as it is, and without Champions League football, the club must find ways to trim the bill, especially with high-earner Mesut Ozil still being paid for doing absolutely nothing.
A 'Bosman' departure for Sokratis would therefore represent a gain for the club, although his move to the South of Italy might not happen.Published 23 Sep 2020, 22:24 IST