Sokratis Papastathopoulos could still leave Arsenal before Monday, with Nice joining Napoli in showing an interest in the centre-back.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal in action with Aaron Connolly of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal in action with Aaron Connolly of Brighton on December 5, 2019. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

For a while now, we’ve heard about interest from Napoli in Sokratis Papastathopoulos and their indecisiveness in pushing the deal through, but it looks like Nice might now join the race for the centre-back.

Ciro Venerato claims Nice also placed an enquiry for Sokratis. He adds that Napoli have a deal for the defender in place, but it depends on outgoings – notably Kalidou Koulibaly.

Koulibaly’s departure is looking significantly less likely at the moment. The main club in for him was always Manchester City, and they’ve just signed Ruben Dias at the back.

There could be another way to push Napoli into buying, however. Fabrizio Romano reports that West Ham are in talks with Napoli for Nikola Maksimovic. There’s no agreement yet, but that move would provide the Serie A side with funds and motivation to sign Sokratis.

Otherwise, it looks like Nice are an alternative option for the Greek international. He really needs to leave Arsenal this summer, with Mikel Arteta clearly not planning to use him regularly.

Arteta has so many alternatives when everyone is fit, so it’ll be a year on the bench – or not even in the squad – for the 32-year-old if he stays. As for Arsenal, they need to free up non-homegrown spots and raise funds for new signings.