Arsenal star pleads for drastic escape route after convincing Serie A call

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding Arsenal

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos wants to end his Gunners contract early in order to secure a move to Napoli, according to a report.

The Greece international joined Arsenal in 2013 and has proved a regular feature since his arrival.

However, he has struggled for form under both former manager Unai Emery and now Mikel Arteta. Indeed, he is reportedly one of three defenders Arsenal could sell this summer to raise funds.

According to Corrierre del Mezzogiorno (via Sport Witness), Sokratis has now received interest from elsewhere.

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso played with the defender earlier in their careers and reportedly wants to reunite with his ex-teammate.

What’s more, Gattuso has reportedly phoned Sokratis to explain his desire to secure a deal.

From Sokratis’ end, he is similarly eager to move back to Serie A and now wants to see a transfer take shape. The 32-year-old is reportedly willing to end his contract early to allow Napoli to seal his signing.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos Arsenal

Sokratis has entered the final year of his Arsenal deal but it appears he is eager to move on before the prospect of signing a pre-contract with Milan opens up in January.

Indeed, Arsenal could look to move him on regardless of Napoli’s continued interest.

Napoli are keen on signing a new defender amid speculation that the club could offload Kalidou Koulibaly. However, the Serie A club reportedly need to offload the Senegal international before bringing in a new recruit.

Napoli have also looked at Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes, a firm Arsenal target.

Earlier reports suggested that the Gunners were favourites to land the 22-year-old, but the latest claims say he is holding off on that move and hopes other sides will make late bids.

Should Sokratis sign for Napoli, Corrierre del Mezzogiorno adds that he could sign a two or three-year deal.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal

Meanwhile, Arsenal winger Willian has stressed the importance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing a new deal.

Aubameyang is into the final year of his deal and is yet to sign an extension. Reports suggest Arsenal have offered him such a proposal.

And Willian has explained how working with the Gabon international played a big part in his decision to sign for the Gunners.

Read more…