Arsenal beat Chelsea to sign Mertesacker replacement, £19.8 seals deal

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ARSENE WENGER will turn to Greek centre back Sokratis Papastathopoulos to bolster Arsenal’s defence this summer, according to reports.

Papastathopoulos has been a long-term target for Wenger and the Frenchman is set to make his move this summer.

The Borussia Dortmund star is also wanted by Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus.

But, according to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are favourites for the 29-year-old.

Wenger is looking to provide more stability in Arsenal’s defence.

Per Mertesacker will retire at the end of the season while Rob Holding and Calum Chambers have struggled to perform on a regular basis.

Papastathopoulos has previously been with AC Milan and Werder Bremen while making 89 appearances for his country.

He has regularly impressed in his 25 appearances for Dortmund this season and could be just what Wenger requires.

Arsenal have conceded 41 Premier League goals this season, with only Leicester City conceding more of the teams in the top eight.

The Gunners sit in sixth place ahead of the weekend with Southampton the visitors to the Emirates on Sunday (2.15pm).

Wenger’s side look increasingly unlikely to reach the top four, sitting 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with just seven games remaining.

Arsenal have had a better season in Europe though.

A 4-1 Europa League quarter-final first-leg victory over CSKA Moscow means the north Londoners have one foot in the last four.


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