In what amounts to something of a surprise, Arsenal have moved ahead with a transfer offer to bring Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to The Emirates. The Express reports that the club have made a £10.9 million bid for the Greek centre back as they look to solve their defensive problem.
Arsenal need to bring in a centre back before the transfer window closes on Monday. The sale of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona earlier in the month has left Arsene Wenger short of options in central defence.
While new signing Calum Chambers has impressed covering the position, The Gunners would still prefer to have an established player as backup to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
The North London club have been linked with a number of centre halves during the summer. Most notably, Wenger was reported to be showing interest in Mehdi Benatia and Kostas Manolas. However, those deals are now out of the questions with Benatia joining Bayern Munich and Manolas signing for Italian side Roma.
This leaves the long-serving manager having to look at other options in a market that is short of availably quality centre backs. This explains the interest in Papastathopoulos who would offer Arsenal excellent cover in defence.
The 26-year-old is not first choice at Dortmund but performed admirably last season when injuries prevented first choice centre backs starting for the German side, making a total of 28 league appearances.
With limited opportunities at Dortmund on the horizon the Greek defender may be willing to move to The Premier League in order to challenge the Arsenal centre backs for the first team.
The transfer is far from being complete though with Dortmund demanding closer to £20 million for the player. This is significantly more than Arsenal have offered but negotiations look set to continue with several days of the transfer window remaining.