Official: First January signing confirmed by Wenger

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Arsene Wenger confirms the Gunners are close to signing Konstantinos Mavropanos, but they’ll send the Greek defender out on loan in January.

On Wednesday, we reported that Arsenal were closing in on signing the 20-year-old. After last night’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea, Wenger confirmed the news to be true.

“Yes (Mavropanos is close to signing). But he is not ready to play for us. We will give him out on loan,” he said. Mavropanos’ fee is set to be around £2.2m, but he won’t be an immediate first-team addition. Instead he’s likely to go on loan to Werder Bremen.

The defender made 14 appearances in the Greek Super League this season. He’s been playing regularly, he still needs some experience in Europe’s top five leagues.’

The Greek youngster is Sven Mislintat’s first signing. The German identified the PAS Giannina centre-back whilst he was working in Germany, and used his contacts to complete the deal.

It’s not the glamour signing that some fans were hoping for, but that’s not the point of Mislintat’s role. Anyone could tell us about the benefits of signing Sergio Ramos or similar. We need someone to help unearth a hidden gem, and hopefully that’s what Mavropanos is.

Arsenal are clearly in need of a centre-back when Per Mertesacker retires, so it’s good to see the club getting some business done early. Hopefully, they’re also looking for an immediate first-team addition.

But given the low cost of the Mavropanos transfer, it shouldn’t have any effect on that search.

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