Transfer Rumour: Napoli eye Sokratis as Kalidou Koulibaly replacement

Napoli are reportedly interested in signing Arsenal defender Sokratis, who could replace Manchester City target Kalidou Koulibaly.

According to a report by The Sun, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is the subject of interest from Napoli. The Greek defender, who is keen to leave Arsenal for the Serie A outfit, is being viewed as the replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, who is a target for Manchester City.

Sokratis has been all across Europe over the course of his 15-year long senior footballing career. The 32-year-old joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018 and was a decent performer for the Premier League heavyweights in his maiden campaign at the Emirates.

However, second season syndrome struck the Greek centre-back, who slowly fell down the pecking order and clocked in just 3 minutes of action following the resumption of football in England. With Arsenal signing Gabriel Magalhaes this summer and William Saliba returning from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne, Sokratis’ prospects will only suffer further.

Sokratis is set to leave Arsenal. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Sokratis is set to leave Arsenal. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Now a bit-part player in Mikel Arteta’s squad, Sokratis seems to have made peace with the fact that his time as a regular at Arsenal could well be up. As a result, he is, according to Corriere dello Sport, eager to secure a return to Italy by joining Napoli, who themselves have the veteran in their sights.

The Sun claim that Sokratis is seen as the player to replace Kalidou Koulibaly, who could be on his way to Manchester City. If the Senegalese defender does end up leaving, the Partenopei would have to fill in a spot in Gennaro Gatusso’s squad, despite the arrival of Amir Rrahmani from Hellas Verona.

Sokratis is, therefore, a viable target for Napoli, where Gattuso will have an experienced defender in his squad to call upon. As per the report, the Serie A outfit will shell out £3.5 million for the player, who wants to earn the same wages he pockets at Arsenal.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis himself has confirmed the interest in the Arsenal defender, who is eager to reunite with former AC Milan teammate Gattuso and compatriot Kostas Manolas.

Meanwhile, back at Arsenal, there is a need to offload at least one more centre-back, especially with David Luiz being a regular and Pablo Mari joining on a permanent deal. As for Sokratis, the Greek defender is set to depart the Premier League club to join Napoli,

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