Robert Pires wants Arsenal to sign 29-year-old defender to lead the backline

Arsenal favourite Robert Pires has urged his former club to pursue a deal for Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. The Greece international is approaching the final year of his contract and he is widely expected to pursue a fresh challenge away from Borussia Dortmund.

Speaking to Bwin, Pires believes strengthening the backline should be the priority for Wenger’s successor and Sokratis should be identified as the leading option to bolster the central defensive options during the summer.

“I think improving the defence must be a priority for the new manager and I think Sokratis Papastathopoulos would be a very good signing,” Pires told bwin. “He’s been a consistent performer for Borussia Dortmund and I would like to see him lead the defensive line for Arsenal.”

The 29-year-old has been a consistent performer over the years and reports have suggested that he could be available for a cut-price deal of around £17m with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat playing a key figure in a possible approach.

Arsenal are expected to be without vice-captain Laurent Koscielny for the first half of next season with an Achilles injury and this may tempt the Gunners to bring in two central defenders in stead of one with Sokratis’ compatriot Kostas Manolas also linked with club.



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