Arsenal have moved ahead of the race to sign Schalke’s highly rated Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos. The North London club are eager to add a defender to the ranks and have eyed Papadopoulos are a possible target.
Liverpool have been linked with the player since the end of the season having been priced out of a move for Swansea City’s Ashley Williams, who was also an Arsenal target. The 21-year-old has now attracted interest from the Gunners as he prepares to leave German side Schalke 04.
His form last season helped the Gelsenkirchen team to an impressive fourth place behind Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. His positioning and discipline belie his tender age and his timing of tackles is almost perfect however his recent injury streak is not be to admired.
The player has not played since November having suffered a troublesome knee injury and that could hold back bids both from the Premier League duo.
Liverpool are in need of a centre-half with the retirement of Jamie Carragher. Martin Skrtel and Seb Coates have failed to get in to Brendan Rodgers first team with only Daniel Agger deemed trustworthy to play. Kolo Toure has been bought in as a reliable back up player. Coates was bough to Liverpool as a highly rated young defender but has been crowded out, something Papadopoulos could find unnerving.
The Gunners are looking to improve their squad depth with another defender to compete with Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, as Johan Djourou is likely to be sold. However Arsene Wenger is a man who knows about injuries with Abou Diaby hampered throughout his Gunners career and Jack Wilshere missing in the 2011/12 season because of multiple ankle and knee injuries. He wouldn’t want to bring another injury-prone player to the squad.