Arsenal are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Germany. The Greece international is set to become the first signing of Unai Emery’s reign, although it has been Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat who has played a key role in recruiting the 29-year-old. Sky Germany report that Sokratis arrived in London on Sunday evening and had a medical on Monday. Arsenal are due to pay €20 million (£17.5m) for the central defender, who would’ve been out of contract with Dortmund next summer.
Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted talks over a potential move to Arsenal are still ongoing with his deal at Juventus expiring this month. Sky Sports News understands Arsenal are in talks with right-back Lichtsteiner over a contract with the 34-year-old expected to become a free agent when he ends his seven-year spell with the Serie A champions. But reports a deal is done for the Swiss to join the Gunners has been dismissed by Lichtsteiner. Lichtsteiner is set to captain Switzerland at the World Cup and take his international caps to over 100. He has won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and three Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011.
Arsenal have launched a shock move to sign Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini on a free transfer after he rejected two contract offers to remain at Old Trafford. The thought of Fellaini signing for the Gunners would have seemed unthinkable under former manager Arsene Wenger, given his age and playing style, but times have changed and the new recruitment team at the Emirates Stadium see the appeal in adding him to the squad. Unai Emery wants to make Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi one of his first Arsenal signings this summer. The new Gunners boss has had to convince the club’s hierarchy to push ahead with a deal for the 29-year-old former Blackburn and Stoke star.
Arsenal showed some initial interest in the France international in January, but head of recruitment Sven Mislintat decided against taking it any further. However Emery, who signed N’Zonzi during his time in charge of Sevilla, is a huge admirer – and the player is also keen to link back up with his old boss. Mislintat is understood to be ready to sanction the deal after conversations with Emery about the player.