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Sven Mislintat has identified Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos as a priority signing for Arsenal ahead of the summer transfer window, reports say. Arsene Wenger is set to leave the Emirates this month but his departure has not distracted the club as they draw up a list of potential targets. After another year in which Arsenal have bolstered their attacking options with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, this summer will be devoted to defensive reinforcements.
The Gunners tried to sign West Brom captain Jonny Evans in January and could revive their interest in the former Manchester United star as the Baggies head for the Championship. But Arsenal hope to bring two centre-backs to north London and head of recruitment Mislintat is determined to strike a deal with Dortmund for Papastathopoulos, according to The Independent. The Greek star has been a mainstay in Dortmund’s team since 2013, with his performances also attracting interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.
Arsenal were willing to sell Shkodran Mustafi last summer and, with his consistency not improving this term, the Gunners are likely to cash in on the German. Mislintat also wants to bolster the squad at the Emirates with two new full-backs. Hector Bellerin could be on his way out, having emerged as a target for a number of clubs. Midfielder Jack Wilshere could also be set to leave Arsenal, although he said this week he is ‘hopeful’ of signing a contract extension at the club.
‘We are still in the same position really. Not much has changed. We are still talking,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘Obviously the boss has left which has changed things a little bit because I don’t know who is going to be the manager next year and that can change things. ‘But we are still talking and I am hopeful and the club is hopeful we can get something done.’