VfB Stuttgart avoided relegation in dramatic fashion on Saturday, reportedly ensuring the permanent transfer of Konstantinos Mavropanos.
As the 90th minute came to an end on Saturday, VfB Stuttgart looked set to play a relegation play-off to attempt to maintain their status as a Bundesliga club. They were two points behind Hertha BSC in the table and drawing 1-1 with FC Koln.
But in the second minute of injury time, Wataru Endo sparked wild scenes in the home support by scoring a last-gasp winner to take Stuttgart up to 15th and safety.
Reports throughout the season have suggested that Stuttgart had an obligation to make Mavropanos’ loan move permanent if they stayed up, which they now have.
So at the last possible moment, Stuttgart have ensured that they have no choice but to sign the Arsenal loanee.
The obligation will net Arsenal £3m and a reported 10% of Mavropanos’ future sale. That’s on top of the loan fee already paid for him, but obviously doesn’t come to a huge amount even then.
Various outlets have claimed West Ham will be interested in signing Mavropanos this summer, but that now looks like being Stuttgart’s business to sort out. Arsenal will take home 10% if that deal does go through, but they don’t get a say in it.
Mavropanos made 32 appearances for Stuttgart this season, scoring five goals – a career-best.
The defender was often praised for his individual performances at centre-back, though he did give away four penalties as part of one of the five worst defences in the league.
After four-and-a-half years as an Arsenal player, it looks like the Greek international is set to make the next step in his career now.