Arsenal Officials Eye Dortmund Star Sokratis as Gunners Reportedly Target New-Look Defence

​Arsenal have identified Borussia Dortmund defender ​Sokratis Papastathopoulos as a potential new signing, with the club looking to recruit a new back five this summer.

Despite not having a manager in place for next season, the ​Indepen​dent report that senior officials are already planning the club’s summer recruitment and an entire new defensive unit is part of their plans.

Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and former director of football at Barcelona Raul Sanllehi have drawn up a list of targets for Arsenal due to the Gunners’ poor defensive record, having conceded 48 Premier League goals so far this season, more than both Brighton and Newcastle.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga

Mislintat, who has already overseen the ​signings of former Dortmund players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, has identified the Bundesliga outfit’s Greece international Sokratis as a key defensive target for Arsenal.

The north London club are also seeking a younger alternative to Petr Cech, who is soon to turn 36, and ideally want to recruit Atlético Madrid stopper Jan Oblak.

However, the 25-year-old Slovenian could cost as much as £70m – a price tag which is likely to deter Arsenal from making a move.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga

In terms of defence, Sokratis has been identified due to the fact that Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have both made mistakes consistently this season. Two new centre backs are wanted to replace them.

Arsenal are also said to want two new full backs with the futures of Héctor Bellerín and Nacho Monreal looking uncertain.

There is also uncertainty over the contract situations of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, so a new central midfielder is also on the Gunners’ shopping list. Finally, the club want a new wide forward to complete their summer recruitment drive.

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