Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s father, Charalambos, has revealed the player rejected the chance to move to Manchester United during this window in order to sign for Arsenal.
“There was interest from United but he would have to wait for July, even if the two clubs (United and Borussia Dortmund) have excellent relations,” Papastathopoulos senior said.
“He chose to go to Arsenal instead.”
Even though he has chosen Arsenal instead of United, he still has to wait until July before the move can be made official. BvB want to wait until their current financial year finishes at the end of June.
The German side have also confirmed the 30-year-old centreback is heading to Arsenal.
Just this week, Michael Zorc told Revier Sport that Sokratis will be joining Arsenal but that the deal is not quite complete just yet.
On Tuesday, BvB announced that they had signed Abdou Diallo to replace the Arsenal-bound Greek.
“It seems that it’s going to happen. It is true,” Zorc reportedly told Revier Sport. “But it is not entirely in place yet.”
Dortmund are believed to be paying in the region of €25m for Diallo while Arsenal have agreed a fee of around €18.2m (£16m) for Sokratis.
Who is he?
by Dan Critchlow
Sokratis stands at 6’1″, and plays centreback for club and country.
Last season, he made 43 appearances for Dortmund, scoring three goals. Transfermarkt value him at around €22m, so Arsenal are getting a decent deal if the rumours on price are true.
According to those who watch him, Sokratis should have no trouble fitting into the intense, attacking football philosophy that Arsenal play, as that’s what he’s already used to at Dortmund.
Last year, a Dortmund fan analysed the defender’s step up after Mats Hummels left for Bayern Munich. He noted that the defender made the second most tackles per game in the league, as well as being right up there in terms of blocks. Since that article was written, Sokratis actually increased his tackling numbers, so it’s fair to say he’s not afraid to get stuck in.
His passing is also very strong, and he’s strong in the air, but does tend to commit fouls often.
To see Arsenal’s new defender in action, check out the video below (skip to 0:50 to avoid all the adverts and build up):