Manchester United have missed out on the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos after the Borussia Dortmund centre-back opted for a move to Arsenal instead, according to the player’s father via the Mirror.
Sokratis has been an important member of the Dortmund back four since joining the club from Werder Bremen in 2013 but his future at the Westfalonstadion has been in serious doubt over the past few months.
The 30-year-old is in the final year of his contract and has failed to agree terms over an extension as he wants a fresh challenge so Dortmund have decided to cash-in now rather than lose the defender for nothing in 12 months time.
The situation alerted clubs here in the Premier League and Sokratis’s father, Charalambos, has revealed that both Arsenal and Manchester United held talks with Dortmund over a deal but the experienced centre-back has chosen to join the Gunners.
Charalambos suggested that Arsenal’s ability to secure a deal quickly played a key role in his son’s decision to snub United in favour of a move to the Emirates this summer.
He’s quoted by the Mirror as saying:
“There was interest from United but he had to wait until July for them,”
“United have a very good relationship with Dortmund, the teams were talking more closely. He chose to go to Arsenal instead.”
Jose Mourinho has been tipped to sign another centre-back this summer as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging Manchester City for the title next season and it seems Sokratis was on his radar.
The Greek international is set for a move to Arsenal with the Mirror claiming that a £16m deal has been agreed with Dortmund and the defender is expected to wrap-up the switch over the coming days.
New Arsenal boss Unai Emery has already signed right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus and goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen so Sokratis could become his third signing since replacing Arsene Wenger as manager.
Emery needs to add some experience to his back-line as Per Mertesacker has retired while Laurent Koscielny is expected to be out until 2019 after undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury so Sokratis will be a solid addition to their squad.