Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was close to joining Manchester United but chose to join the Gunners instead according to the player’s father, Charalambos. He revealed the defender snubbed interest from ​Manchester United in favour of a reported move to ​Arsenal in 2018.

Sokratis, 30, joined Arsenal in 2018. He was the first defender to arrive at the Emirates Stadium during a defensive overhaul under then manager Unai Emery. He arrived in a deal reportedly worth up to £16m from ​Borussia Dortmund.

Shedding light on the move which saw Sokratis switch the ​Bundesliga for the ​Premier League, Charalambos did reveal that the Gunners were not the only club interested in securing the centre back’s signature during that summer.

He revealed that United had a very good relationship with Dortmund, the teams talked a lot, but Socrates chose to go to Arsenal.

Sokratis enjoyed a fine debut season under Emery. He made 40 appearances across all competitions and scored 3 goals. Things haven’t been so smooth for the Greece international in his second season with Arsenal. He made 27 appearances in all competitions before football was suspended due to Covid19 pandemic. He has not played consistently under new manager Mikel Arteta. Arteta prefered the partnership of David Luis and Shkodran Musrafi, pushing Stratus down the pecking order.

Reports have linked the former Borussia Dortmund player with Emirate Stadium exit in recent weeks. Serie A clubs, Napoli and AC Milan have expressed their interest in the player. According to sources close to the player, Sokratis is not happy not playing week in week out and he will consider any good offer that comes during the summer.

Arsenal are also in the market for another defender. The club has been linked with RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The club will also welcome Willaim Saliba at the end of the season.


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