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Arsenal Ready £12m Bid For Borussia Dortmund Star Claims Respected Italian Journalist

The Gunners turn their attention to Sokratis.

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Having seen several central defensive targets bypass them in recent times, Arsenal have now turned their attention to Borussia Dortmund star Sokratis Papastaphopoulos, reports Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Gunners did have their eye on Sokratis’ Greece international teammate Kostas Manolas, according to the Daily Mail, before the 23-year-old joined AS Roma.

Meanwhile the man he replaced at the Stadio Olimpico, Mehdi Benatia, was also being touted by the North London outfit before he made his move to Bayern Munich, reports the Daily Star.

Manager Arsene Wenger wants support at the back following the £15m departure of former captain Thomas Vermaelen to FC Barcelona this summer.

Before Per Mertesacker returned from his break following triumph at the 2014 World Cup with Germany, Wenger paired Laurent Koscielny with new £16m signing Calum Chambers.

The 19-year-old has impressed in the position, but is generally considered a right-back and it’s perhaps too much to ask of the youngster to fill in on a regular basis.

Sokratis has been with Dortmund for little over a year after signing from Werder Bremen as cover for Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic, but actually ended up playing 42 games in all competitions in 2013/14.

The 26-year-old is naturally a centre-back, but can also operate at right-back.

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