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Arsenal are on the verge of completing their first summer signing with a £17m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Italy via the Metro.
The club are yet to confirm Arsene Wenger’s replacement after he ended his 22-year reign in north London but we’re still pressing ahead with our summer transfer business.
A new central defender is a priority as we leaked 51 Premier League goals last season and we desperately need to rebuild our back four if we’re to become genuine challengers again.
Laurent Koscielny turns 33 later this year and has been ruled out for at least six months following Achilles surgery while Per Mertesacker has retired so we need to sign at least one centre-back this summer.
Papastathopoulos has emerged as a prime target and the Metro are now citing a report from Gianluca Di Marzio that claims Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign the Dortmund defender.
The Italian publication says a deal worth in the region of £17m is ‘very close’ to completion so Papastathopoulos is on the verge of becoming Arsenal’s first major signing of the summer window.
The 29-year-old has just one year left on his contract at Dortmund and is set to leave after failing to agree terms over an extension with Arsenal working on the finer details of his transfer.
Papastathopoulos has been a key player for Dortmund since joining the club five years ago and Sven Mislintat played an important role in taking him to the Westfalonstadion from Werder Bremen.
Our new head of recruitment is leading our transfer business this summer and it looks like Mislintat is keen to be reunited with Papastathopoulos in north London.
We’ll have to wait and see whether we can get this deal over the line but it’s gearing up to be a busy summer at the Emirates and exciting times lay ahead for the club if we can get our recruitment right.