Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a wanted man heading into the final three days of the transfer window, according to reports. The Borussia Dortmund man is the subject of interest from Arsenal, but the Gunners will need to up their financial offering before the deadline passes.
Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio indicates the Premier League side will need to work harder to snatch Sokratis away from the Westfalenstadion:
Borussia Dortmund turned down Arsenal’s initial offer for Sokratis Papastathopolous. The Gunners today made an official offer to the German club: 15 million euro plus bonuses, but the German club considered that to be too low. The negotiation will however continue, since the Gunners haven’t given up on acquiring the Greek defender.
Alex Harris of the Express writes that reports in Italy claim a bid of £10.9 million was launched for Sokratis, although it isn't specified whether this is the number that was turned down.
Arsenal's apparent interest in Kostas Manolas, another Greek centre-back, led to nothing after the player joined Roma, per BBC Sport. Sokratis is a more experienced alternative at 26 years old, three years Manolas' senior, and could play an important role in solidifying Wenger's defence as Arsenal prepare to battle in four competitions.
The Gunners boss will be pleased with the immediate impact of Calum Chambers, who has proved himself to be an excellent defensive addition since moving from Southampton in July. Wenger could use another versatile defender to make sure his squad is fully covered and will see Sokratis as a smart fit.
Should Borussia Dortmund let Sokratis leave so late in the transfer window?
He was part of the AC Milan squad that won the 2010-11 Serie A title before moving to Werder Bremen permanently in 2012.
Unfortunately, the defender's attitude was called into question during a training-ground brawl with Marko Arnautovic, an incident that saw Sokratis grab his team-mate by the throat and slap him after putting in a hard challenge that Arnautovic reacted badly to.
The two could cross paths if Sokratis does head to Arsenal, as Arnautovic now resides in Stoke.
Sokratis completed a move to Borussia Dortmund shortly after this occurrence, where he has become a useful part of Jurgen Klopp's squad.
He made 27 appearances during last year's Bundesliga campaign, averaging 2.7 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.6 fouls each match, per WhoScored.com. He also netted a goal and provided two assists during this time.
There's no doubt Sokratis would face an uphill challenge to slot into Wenger's first team, but the French boss has shown he is looking to rotate in the early stages of the season. Chambers has appeared in both Premier League matches, started the Champions League first-leg qualifier against Besiktas and then entered the second as a substitute.
As someone who can play in the middle or on the right, Sokratis could be afforded the same treatment. Although his quality would certainly galvanise Arsenal's ranks, Klopp would be brave to let the player leave at this point in the window, per football writer Stefan Bienkowski:
Ah, see it now: they were linked with Sokratis. He’d make a great signing, but again I’d be surprised if Dortmund let him go.— Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) August 28, 2014
Arsenal would be investing in a player who has shown himself to be adaptable in a number of leagues. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are destined to dominate the side's centre-back ranks for the foreseeable future, but Sokratis would ensure Wenger doesn't have to worry about a lack of strength in depth, if the defender can be prised away from Dortmund.