Arsenal rejected an approach from Paris Saint-Germain for defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos on transfer deadline day because they refused to let the 32-year-old leave for free, according to reports. Sokratis has struggled for game time at Arsenal since football resumed following the coronavirus pandemic in June.
The Greek international was linked with a move to Serie A side Napoli for large parts of the summer window.
However, Napoli were not willing to pay a fee for a player who has entered the final year of his contract at Arsenal.
And despite Mikel Arteta having eight senior centre-backs in his first-team squad, it appears PSG were sent the same message on Monday.
French outlet Telefoot Chaine say the Gunners turned down PSG’s offer of taking Sokratis on a free transfer.
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Sokratis is yet to feature for Arsenal this season, with a calf injury initially ruling him out of contention.
He has played just three minutes in two substitute appearances since his last start against West Ham in March.
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The former Borussia Dortmund star is likely to struggle for first-team action following the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille this summer.
Sokratis could even potentially be left out of Arsenal’s Premier League squad, with clubs only allowed to name 17 non-homegrown players over the age of 21.
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Arsenal have 19 players who fit that category, so two are set to miss out when the squad is named.
Arteta could still loan out young defender William Saliba, with reports claiming the Gunners are looking for a Championship club to take him for this season.
Premier League and EFL clubs can continue to carry out deals between each other until October 16.
Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne last summer for £30million before returning to the French club on loan.
But a lack of football due to injury and the coronavirus pandemic means the 19-year-old could again be sent out.
Arteta said of Saliba last month: “For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal issues and also with Covid and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year.
“He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year to have the player we want in our future.”
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