Reports: Arsenal want Borussia Dortmund star
A perfect signing for Arsenal?
What's the rumour?
As per reports from The Daily Mail, Arsenal are interested in making a move to sign Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
In case you didn't know...
Papastathopoulos has evolved into one of the Bundesliga's best defenders. The 29-year-old made the switch to Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013 and has since established himself as a mainstay in their backline.
During his spell at BVB, he has made almost 200 appearances across all competitions whilst being a first-team regular for the Greece national team too.
His existing deal is set to expire in twelve months' time, meaning the possibility of striking a deal is higher as Dortmund find themselves in a weak negotiating position with the player himself, who might be angling for a move away after six seasons in Germany's top-flight.
The heart of the matter
This season has been one to forget from Arsenal's perspective, enduring one of their worst during the 2017/18 campaign and following Arsene Wenger's departure, major changes are expected at the club. Their defenders have come under constant criticism in recent years and naturally, the club's board have made signing a quality centre-back their top priority going forward.
Per Mertesacker has retired from professional football and will become the club's new Academy manager, while captain Laurent Koscielny is sidelined for six months following a serious Achilles injury suffered during their defeat to Europa League winners Atletico Madrid l month.
With that in mind, the Gunners are looking at possible defenders who could provide extra steel to their backline in future. Sokratis has reportedly been identified as a prime target and could be available for £17.5 million, a transfer fee that would be affordable for the club to part ways with.
Across all competitions this past season, Sokratis featured on 43 occasions and scored three times along the way. In the Bundesliga, he completed 43 tackles, 35 interceptions and also won 66% of his aerial duels.
Rumour rating/probability - 7/10
Many sources have reported the same news and we believe that there is some truth in the rumours after all.
Video: Papastathopoulos in action for Dortmund this season
Papastathopoulos would represent an excellent acquisition for The Gunners, who really need a solid and established defender at the moment. The reported fee is one that would not hurt the club's finances whilst Dortmund may be tempted to let Sokratis leave, if they receive a substantial offer.
Stats' source: Squawka