Greek centre-back turns down new contract offers from Arsenal

By | January 22, 2021

Arsenal have agreed to terminate defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ deal with immediate effect.

The 32-year-old Greek star, who was signed for £17.7 million three years ago, has not featured at all for the Gunners this season after he was frozen out of the senior team squad by Mikel Arteta.

The powerful centre-back was not named in the Gunners’ squads for their Premier League and Europa League seasons, and his only game time has been with the club’s Under-21s.

A statement from the club read: ‘Working closely with Sokratis and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent.

‘This gives Papa the freedom to negotiate a contract with a new club and return to action as soon as possible.’

The defender has attracted attention from Napoli, Real Betis, Fenerbahce, Olympiacos and Genoa, and he would now be free to sign for a club on a free transfer.

‘On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club,’ said the north London outfit’s technical director Edu.

‘He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout.

‘The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.’

The former Borussia Dortmund man leaves having made 69 appearances across two-and-a-half campaigns with the Gunners.

He helped Arsenal win the FA Cup last campaign and was also part of the squad who were beaten by city rivals Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League final in 2019.