Arsenal Transfer News: Sokratis Papastathopoulos Bid Reportedly Made to Dortmund

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Borussia Dortmund during the Pre Season Friendly match between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on August 10, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger is looking to Signal Iduna Park in a bid to strengthen his defence after it came to light that Arsenal have registered a €15 million (£10.9 million) offer for centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Borussia Dortmund reportedly value their stalwart at €25 million, however, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, leaving the Gunners some way off the asking price:

Wenger is yet to bring in a replacement for former club captain Thomas Vermaelen following the Belgian's move to Barcelona earlier this summer.

ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld doesn't see the move coming to fruition, noting that Jurgen Klopp's resources at the back are already in tight supply, especially with Neven Subotic still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury:

The Press Association (h/t Daily Mail) reported earlier in the week that Arsenal were on the trail of Sokratis' Greek international teammate Kostas Manolas.

However, the defender has since opted to join Roma, as confirmed by beIN Sport, rejecting interest from Juventus in order to do so:

Olivier Giroud will be absent from the Arsenal line-up for four months while he recovers from a broken leg, per BBC Sport, putting an emphasis on the club's defence to do its part in this time of need.

A replacement in attack would be the priority for some, but it can often be the case that focusing on other areas is an effective tactic under such circumstances. 

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Arsenal booked their place in the Champions League group stages with a second-leg playoff victory over Besiktas on Tuesday evening, which is when Wenger addressed the topic of transfer speculation.

The Guardian's Dominic Fifield quotes the Frenchman as commenting on his options in attack but also touching upon matters further afield:

You will ask me straight away who we will buy? At the moment, no one. We will look around but we want quality, and we have quality: we have [Yaya] Sanogo, [Lukas] Podolksi, [Joel] Campbell, Theo Walcott is coming back soon, and to find players better than we have will be very difficult now. 

Look, if you want to make anybody happy just buy all these players. But what is important is the performance on the pitch, and the solidarity we have shown tonight. Having said that, if you look at the players on the bench and those injured, we have players you know. You cannot just buy when the player is injured. We are open for any position as long as we feel the player can strengthen the squad. But to buy? I don’t see the purpose of that. If we feel we have a player who can give something to our squad, we’ll do it in any position. We’re open.

In the absence of Subotic, Mats Hummels, Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer for stretches of last season, Sokratis was the most consistent piece of Dortmund's defence, aiding Klopp's men in a difficult period.

His pre-season performances indicate none of that quality has been lost in recent months, with Bleacher Report's Stefan Bienkowski noting his display against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup earlier in August:

Sokratis' first season at Dortmund nevertheless ended with the club sitting as the Bundesliga's second-stingiest defence en route to its second-place finish behind Bayern.

If the Greek were to move, his presence would apply great pressure on Wenger's centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, although Arsenal will have to open their cheque book further in order to cut a deal.