Arsenal have moved a significant step closer to signing Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos after increasing their offer to £15.8 million.
This is according to the Metro, with the Gunners working hard to finalise a deal before the transfer window closes on Monday night.
Wenger wants defensive reinforcements
Arsenal made a £10.9 million bid for the 26-year-old Greece international earlier this week, with Arsene Wenger keen to bolster his defensive options following the departure of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, who joined Barcelona earlier this month.
The Gunners spent £16 million on promising English defender Calum Chambers earlier this summer, but Wenger is acutely aware of the need to bring in a more experienced centre-back before the transfer deadline passes.
Dortmund reportedly want closer to £20 million for Papastathopoulos, but the player is believed to be keen to move to the Emirates Stadium, and Arsenal’s increased offer may prove sufficient for them to land the central defender, who can also play at right-back.
Arsenal in talks with agent
Arsenal are still in talks with Papastathopoulos’s agent over personal terms, but a £15,000-a-week increase on his current £30,000-a-week deal at Signal Iduna Park should convince the Greek to put pen-to-paper with the Gunners.
The defender began his career with AEK Athens before moving to Genoa in 2008. Two years later he secured a dream move to AC Milan but failed to establish himself as a first-team regular at the San Siro.
He joined Werder Bremen in 2012 after enjoying a season-long loan with the Bundesliga outfit, before earning a move to 2013 Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund a year later.