Retsos and Sokratis linked with moves to England
Greek defenders Panagiotis Retsos and Sokratis Papastathopoulos might be on the move this summer, as media reports have linked them with transfers away from their respective Bundesliga clubs.
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19-year old Retsos, who is enjoying a superb debut campaign with Bayer Leverkusen, could be on his way to English giants Arsenal. According to reports, Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has made the centre-back his main target of the upcoming summer transfer window, with the London club eager to strengthen their shaky defence.
However, if Arsenal are to sign Retsos, they’ll have to part with a large sum of money, Since signing from Olympiacos in August 2017, Retsos has impressed with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, making 20 league appearances and scoring one goal. Leverkusen pinched Retsos from Olympiacos for 17.5 million euros last year, but taking into account the club’s desire to keep the Greek in Leverkusen, any teams wishing to sign him have to pay at least 40 million. It’s doubtful whether Arsenal, a club which despises spending big money, will agree to the transfer fee. Arsenal signed fellow Greek Konstantinos Mavropanos in January.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, a key central defender for both the Greek national team and Borussia Dortmund, is rumoured to be on the radar of Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal. With his Dortmund contract running out in 2019, Sokratis is weighing up his options. The 29-year old wouldn’t decline a new contract offer from Borussia, but he wants the team to improve on recent form and become competitive in Germany and Europe again.
Initially, only Juventus and Manchester United were interested in Sokratis’ services, but Arsenal have got involved too. The Gunners will certainly make a move for a new central defender in the off-season, however it’s unlikely that Arsenal will sign both Retsos and Sokratis. If Borussia can’t come to an agreement for a contract extension with the Greek, they’ll want to offload him in 2018 while he isn’t a free agent.
In early March, AGONAsport covered reports of Sokratis being lined up by Manchester United. Despite only one year left on the defender’s contract, head coach Jose Mourinho is willing to splash the cash and bring Sokratis in during the summer.