Arsenal star in limbo after exit agreement, with deal on verge of collapse

Date published: Tuesday 29th September 2020 4:43

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Calum Chambers Arsenal

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has agreed to a move to Napoli but the deal remains far from certain, according to a report.

Sokratis is one of a number of players who Arsenal are willing to let go of in a bid to raise transfer funds.

The Greek, who signed in 2018, was a key part of Unai Emery’s first full season in charge at The Emirates. However his influence has waned since Mikel Arteta’s arrival.

According to Italian reporter Ciro Venerato, Napoli are keen to sign the 32-year-old. While the Serie A side have all-but sealed the signing though, the deal remains in doubt.

More specifically, Napoli need to remove centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly from their wage bill – and raise funds of their own in the process – before they can push through Sokratis’ transfer.

He told Radio Kiss Kiss (via Sport Witness): “Satisfactory offers have not arrived for [Koulibaly]. The club have locked Sokratis, but Nice also requested him.

“We will see what happens in the next few days. If Napoli sell Kalidou Koulibaly on October 4th, they can send a certified e-mail the morning of the 5th to Arsenal since everything is already done for the purchase of the Greek.”

Sokratis Papastathopoulos Arsenal

Koulibaly was once a top target for Manchester City in their efforts to revamp their defence. However Pep Guardiola’s side are instead closing in on the club-record signing of Benfica’s Ruben Dias.

Napoli spent big to bring in striker Victor Osimhen from Lille and his signing has sparked a need to sell.

As well as Koulibaly, Arkadiusz Milik is reportedly a target for a move away. Roma had reportedly come close to signing the Poland striker before the deal stalled.

Indeed the striker has also been linked with a move to Tottenham, who are looking for back-up to Harry Kane.

Roy Keane names and shames Arsenal trio

Roy.Keane_.TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Roy Keane believes Arsenal trio David Luiz, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney are holding Arsenal back.

The trio started for the Gunners in Monday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

And, while Mikel Arteta has been impressed with Luiz in particular, Keane believes there is only so much he can get out of that trio in defence.

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