Arsenal in driving seat for Sokratis

According to Bild, Arsenal are at the head of the queue for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is expected to leave his German club this summer.

What’s the story?

It is not yet clear who will replace Arsene Wenger as head coach of Arsenal at the end of the season, but the incoming manager will surely be in the market for at least one new centre-back in this summer’s transfer window.

Neither Laurent Koscielny nor Shkodran Mustafi covered themselves in glory against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Thursday night, and it is absolutely vital that the Gunners boost their defensive options ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

According to Bild, Arsenal have identified Sokratis as the perfect summer signing, with the club’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in talks with the Greece international’s agent.

The London outfit are far from the only club interested in the 29-year-old, however, with Manchester United also believed to be closely monitoring proceedings as they prepare their own move.

Would Sokratis be a good signing?

To put it bluntly, Sokratis is everything that Arsenal need in a centre-back. The Greek is not a player that will particularly impress with his ball-playing skills or finesse, but he is a defender in every sense of the word.

Sokratis will see his Dortmund contract expire at the end of next season, and according to Bild, he could be available for £17.5m in this summer’s transfer window.

The defender has featured on 79 occasions for his national team, and all being well, will break the 200-mark in terms of appearances for Dortmund before the end of the campaign.

It is not a surprise that Man United have also been credited with an interest, and it will be up to Arsenal to convince the centre-back to snub a move to Old Trafford.

The Gunners have plenty of talent in the final third of the field, and the arrival of Sokratis this summer would go a long way to solving one of their major problems further back.