Stephan Lichtsteiner is close to moving to Arsenal but he will not be the first to arrive according to reports this morning – that honour will fall to Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
The Daily Mail claim that Unai Emery is expecting the Borussia Dortmund man to be the first signing of his new era (for the senior team at least). Bild reported on 19 May that the defender would sign a two-year-deal with the club.
The length of contract might seem a bit surprising, given recent signings like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang getting a three-and-a-half year contract, or Alexandre Lacazette getting a five year deal. The difference is that Sokratis will be 30 this summer.
Sokratis is almost certainly on the way out this summer, after failing to agree a contract renewal to stay in Dortmund. The defender originally looked certain to end up at Arsenal. Reports immediately after the end of the season suggested a €20m transfer on a two-year deal was practically nailed on.
Dortmund are apparently so sure the move will happen that they’re already searching for a successor. They have their eyes set on Mainz defender Abdou Diallo, and are reportedly planning a €25m bid.
Lichtsteiner, meanwhile, has reportedly already been to London Colney and that deal, which would see the Juventus man arrive on a free transfer, also seems to be close.
The 34-year-old will bring a wealth of experience to the club and will be invaluable in helping Hector Bellerin re-start his development.
Arsenal may need to buy more than one defender this summer, so click ‘Next’ to see the other centre-backs the media are linking them to.