Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly contacted Arsenal target Sokratis Papastathopoulos over a potential move to Old Trafford this summer. The Greece international has only one year left on his contract at Borussia Dortmund, and has informed the club that he will not sign an extension.
The centre half has been on Arsenal’s radar for some time. Sven Mislintat, Arsenal’s head of recruitment, will be very familiar with Sokratis from his time at Dortmund, and the 29-year-old would prove a relatively cheap fix to the Gunners’ defensive woes.
However, there could now be a spanner in the works for the north London outfit, with reports claiming that Untied boss Mourinho has now entered the frame. According to German outlet WAZ (via Metro), the Portuguese has contacted the player personally over the phone – informing him that the Red Devils are ready to make a move.
This comes as part of Mourinho’s attempt at a defensive overhaul – having already been linked with Juventus full back Alex Sandro and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.
With only a year left on Sokratis’ deal, Dortmund are essentially forced to sell the defender to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer. The general consensus is that the centre back will be available to leave the Signal Iduna Park for around £17m – a snip in today’s market.
What this entails for Arsenal is unclear. With both United and the Gunners keen to make a deal happen, a Premier League arrival is a very feasible option for Sokratis – but nothing has emerged regarding his personal preference just yet.