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Arsenal launch late raid for Borussia Dortmund defender

| 28.08.2014

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is the latest name to be linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium with reports surfacing that Arsenal have made a bid to Borussia Dortmund for the Greek defender.

Arsene Wenger has been in the market to bolster his defensive options ever since Thomas Vermaelen left the club to join Barcelona but so far has been left frustrated in his attempts to sign a defender.

The Frenchman had been eyeing up a move for Greece international Kostas Manolas but the Olympiakos star opted to move to Serie A to join Roma but with Champions League football now guaranteed in north London Wenger is stepping up his pursuit of defensive cover.

Winston Reid has been a long-term target for the Gunners but it now seems the club has switched targets and launched a bid for former Werder Bremen star Papastathopoulos.

The 26-year-old, who has made 51 appearances for his country, featured in all of Greece’s World Cup group games this summer helping his side to a clean sheet against Japan.

He also featured in the last-16 clash against Costa Rica, scoring his first international goal before his side eventually crashed out on penalties.

Last season, in the absence of injured duo Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, Papastathopoulos performed admirably at the heart of the Dortmund defence, making 28 appearances and securing a place in the Bundesliga team of the year.

His performances through the last year seem to have convinced Wenger, whose side are 20/1 for Champions League glory, that the Greek stopper is the ideal man to support and provide competition for first choice pair Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker with a €15m bid lodged to capture his services.

But the Westfalenstadion outfit could be a tough nut to crack with Jurgen Klopp wanting close to €26m for a player who still has four years left to run on his current deal.

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Oliver Yew