According to BBC Sport, Arsenal are set to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for £16m this summer.
The Gunners’ Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat has planned a summer overhaul of the backline and could make Sokratis one of many defensive additions in the coming weeks, with Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner expected to be confirmed soon.
Arsenal’s defence was greatly exposed last season, conceding 51 goals in 38 Premier League games, as Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge saw them finish sixth in the top flight. To make matter worse, the Londoners will be without two leaders at the start of next season.
Per Mertesacker is set to retire to become Head of Academy with Arsenal, while Laurent Koscielny could be sidelined for a few months due to a serious ankle injury which could put his long-term future in doubt.
That would leave new manager Unai Emery with Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Konstantinos Mavropanos as his defensive options for 2018/19 which is a backline lacking in experience, hence the need to sign Sokratis.
The 29-year-old joined Dortmund from Werder Bremen in 2013 and has gone on to make 198 appearances in all competitions. Sokratis made 43 appearances as Dortmund finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season.