Sokratis ‘close to joining Lazio on a free transfer’ after agreeing to terminate his Arsenal contract with Serie A side set to beat Genoa to his signature
- Former Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is close to joining Lazio
- The 32-year-old agreed to terminate his contract with the Gunners this week
- Genoa were interested in signing the centre back but look to have missed out
- Lazio need reinforcements after Luiz Felipe had surgery on an ankle injury
Lazio are in need of a defender with Luiz Felipe ruled out for two months after having surgery on an ankle injury.
Lazio are close to signing ex-Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos on a free transfer
However, a deal for Sokratis may be complicated by his wage and contract demands.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the centre back wants a two-year deal worth £1.78million-per-year.
Arsenal were keen to get the defender’s wages off their books after he was left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads.
The Serie A side are in need of a defender with Luiz Felipe ruled out for the next two months
The Gunners offloaded their highest earner Mesut Ozil this week with the former German international joining Fenerbache.
The Turkish club have also been linked with a move for Sokratis as have Lazio’s Serie A rivals Napoli.
The defender joined Arsenal in a £17m deal from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and made 69 appearances.
His most recent was as a last-minute substitute in the FA Cup final in August, which Arsenal won 2-1.
The defender has not played this season after he was left out of the Gunners’ squads
The 32-year-old posted an emotional farewell to the club on Instagram and thanked fans for their support.
He wrote: ‘One of the most enjoyable times in my career ended today. It has been an honour to wear the Arsenal shirt and I want to thank all the coaches, team-mates, staff and fans around the world for the love and respect they have given me.
‘I gave everything for Arsenal and Arsenal also gave me a lot. I wish you all the best health and success always. Thank you.’