Arsenal are close to signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund after agreeing a fee of €20m (£17.6m) for the Greece defender.
The 30-year-old, who has won 79 caps for his country, was identified as one of the new Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s prime transfer targets after the Spaniard took over from Arsène Wenger. Negotiations with Dortmund have continued for several weeks, with Papastathopoulos now expected to complete his move to the Emirates
He will become Emery’s third signing after the purchase of the German goalkeeper Bernd Leno for £19m and Switzerland’s 34-year-old full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner’s arrival on a free transfer from Juventus.
Papastathopoulos made 28 Bundesliga appearances last season having established himself as mainstay of Dortmund’s defence since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. His father claimed he had rejected a late enquiry from Manchester United. “There was interest from United but he would have to wait for July, even if the two clubs [United and Borussia Dortmund] have excellent relations,” Charalambos Papastathopoulos said. “He chose to go to Arsenal instead.”
On Wednesday, Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc confirmed that a deal was close and it is understood Papastathopoulos is expected for a medical in the coming days. The Uruguay midfielder, Lucas Torreira, will also have a medical at Arsenal as he nears the completion of a £25m move.