Sokratis Papastathopoulos is keen to join La Liga club Real Betis this month, with Serie A side Genoa now moving onto other targets.

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal is blocked by Ollie Palmer of AFC Wimbledon during the Papa John's Trophy Second Round match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 08, 2020. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal is blocked by Ollie Palmer of AFC Wimbledon during the Papa John’s Trophy Second Round match between AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal U21 at Plough Lane on December 08, 2020. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

In the last few days, Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been heavily linked with a January move to either Real Betis or Genoa. At first, the Italian side seemed like the favourites, particularly as Sokratis played for them previously, but they’re no longer leading the race.

Instead, Goal report that the 32-year-old defender is now keen to move to Spain.

Arsenal are willing to let him go without a transfer fee, but the move hinges on Betis selling players first. They’re currently in a tight spot with regards to La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Betis are looking to offload Brazilian defender Sidnei, which would free up the necessary room on the wage bill. Getafe are the main club in the running for Sidnei’s signature. Alternatively, William Carvalho may leave Betis to return to Portugal with Benfica.

As for Genoa, Fabrizio Romano reports that the Serie A club are no longer confident of signing Sokratis. They’re looking at RB Salzburg’s Jerome Onguene instead, seemingly sensing Sokratis’ lack of desire to play for them again.

Chris Wheatley reported earlier this week that Sokratis has offers from several European teams for a January transfer, and he’ll make a decision on his future in the coming days.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates Stadium with the Arsenal u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates Stadium with Calum Chambers and the Arsenal u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

My main concern at the moment is that this is starting to feel a lot like the conclusion to the summer window. Sokratis had multiple potential options, but he focused on a move to Napoli, who only wanted him if they sold Kalidou Koulibaly first.

In the end, they didn’t sell Koulibaly, so they didn’t sign Sokratis, and he wasted a few months of his career waiting around for January.

Now, it seems like the centre-back is putting his faith in a move to Betis, who also can’t afford him without selling.

Let’s just hope this saga ends differently, with Betis raising the funds they need and taking Sokratis off of Arsenal’s wage bill. Otherwise, the Greek international’s contract expires in June and I wouldn’t expect him to play any senior football before then.

There have also been reports that he has agreed a three-year deal elsewhere.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.