The Gunners are set to make the Greek defender their first signing of the season.
Arsenal are close to signing defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund. The fee is reported to be £16 million.
BBC’s journalist David Ornstein has reported that Papastathopolous is set to become Arsenal’s first signing of the season. The centre-back has one year remaining in his contract with the German club. Earlier, Dortmund’s sporting director said that the defender has denied a new contract with the club.
Arsenal had a disappointing season with their defence, which saw them finish 6th in the Premier League. According to the Telegraph, Arsenal’s initial bid of £13 million was rejected, which prompted the Gunners to make an improved bid of £16m.
Also read: What can Arsenal expect from Unai Emery
Arsenal have had a fair share of issues with their defence.
Per Mertesacker has retired, and Laurent Koscielny is sidelined with injury for some time, which he suffered during their game against Atletico Madrid. The remaining defenders, Kostantinos Mavropanos, Mustafi and Chambers are still unproven in the context of regular first team football.
Arsenal conceded 51 goals in the Premier League season, and hence strengthening the defence has become a priority for their new manager Unai Emery.
According to BBC, Arsenal are also working on a deal with Juventus’ Stephan Lichsteiner. The 34-year old defender can move to Arsenal on a free transfer this summer.
In the January transfer window, Arsenal signed Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners also signed former Dortmund player Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in the same transfer window.
Papastathopoulos will reportedly replace Laurent Koscielny in the Arsenal XI as the French defender recovers from Achilles injury.
The change in the helm at Arsenal has led the club to adopt a continental model in which Unai Emery leads the recruitment process alongside the head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, according to BBC.