Arsenal set to complete Sokratis Papastathopoulos deal

Jim van Wijk 30/06/2018
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Arsenal should complete the transfer of centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund next week, Press Association Sport understands.

The 30-year-old Greece international is expected to put the finishing touches to a deal reported to be worth around €20 million (£17.7million).

New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has already signed Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno has joined from Bayer Leverkusen.

Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira, away on World Cup duty, is another likely recruit, with a potential £27million deal reported to be being negotiated with Sampdoria.

Arsenal, who finished sixth in the Premier League last season, have also looked to secure some of the current squad on new deals, with midfielder Granit Xhaka and 20-year-old winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles having signed contract extensions.

There have also been recent changes behind the scenes as Emery finalised plans for his backroom staff, with Steve Bould set to continue as one of two assistant coaches but former number one Jens Lehmann leaving his goalkeeper coaching role.

Koscielny eyes the ball

Arsenal have yet to announce the shirt number of German goalkeeper Leno, but his arrival creates uncertainty over the future of veteran Petr Cech and David Ospina. Ospina said he will talk to the club about the situation when he returns from World Cup duty with Colombia.

The club received positive news this week regarding defender Laurent Koscielny, who is recovering following surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon which ruled him out of contention for France’s World Cup squad.

Koscielny, who captained the side last season under Arsene Wenger, suffered the injury during the Europa League semi-final second-leg defeat by Atletico Madrid on May 3, and is expected to need several months of rehabilitation.

In a post on his official Instagram account, accompanied by a short video, a smiling Koscielny, carrying his crutches, said: “It’s good to walk again.”

Arsenal will play Emery’s former club Paris St Germain in Singapore as part of their pre-season schedule next month.

The Gunners face Chelsea in Dublin on August 1 ahead of opening the new Premier League campaign at home against champions Manchester City.

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Transfer predictor: Miralem Pjanic to Barcelona gets a 2, while Suso and Leonardo Bonucci to leave AC Milan get a 4

David Cooper 30/06/2018
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Miralem Pjanic can be had for a steep cost.

The summer transfer window for all international deals is open.

With the transfer rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the noise.

Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.

Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the rumour mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.

MIRALEM PJANIC TO BARCELONA

The midfielder has been linked with the Catalan giants this summer, but Juventus are asking for at least €85 million, according to Tuttosport.

Why it will happen: Barcelona are in need of midfield reinforcements after Andres Iniesta left the club in the summer. Pjanic would pair well with Philippe Coutinho to strengthen their attack.

Why it won’t happen: The asking price is simply too rich, even for Barcelona’s blood. Focusing on Pjanic would force Barcelona out of the market on other players they have their eye on.

Prediction: Unless Juventus relent on the price and Barcelona can negotiate down, a move seems unlikely.

Rating: 2/10

Miralem Pjanic

SUSO TO REAL MADRID

The agent of the AC Milan midfielder met with Real Madrid and the cost could be around €40 million, according to Sport.

Why it will happen: There’s some history between the player and newly-appointed Julen Lopetegui, with Suso playing under him during his days with Spain’s youth sides. Milan may also be more inclined to let him leave considering they’re facing a two-year ban in the Europa League and a financial crisis.

Why it won’t happen: If Madrid want him, they should be able to land him. However, how much Suso could help the Champions League title holders and what his role would be is up in the air.

Prediction: The price shouldn’t be an issue, especially if Madrid can bring it down, while Lopetegui could utilise him as a useful cog.

Rating: 4/10

Suso

LEONARDO BONUCCI TO MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United have the AC Milan man in their sights, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Why it will happen: Jose Mourinho appears to be a fan of the 31-year-old, who proved during his time at Juventus that he can help bring major trophies to a club.

Why it won’t happen: United will have stiff competition for his services, including from rivals Manchester City and Chelsea. Milan may also want to retain a high calibre player with a reliable track record.

Prediction: If Milan do let Bonucci leave, United make sense as a landing spot, but it’s not fully in Mourinho’s control.

Rating: 4/10

leonardo-bonucci

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Juventus unwilling to give up Miralem Pjanic for anything less than €85 million

David Cooper 30/06/2018
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The summer transfer window for all international deals is open.

That has started a frenzy of speculation as players and coaches look for their next moves.

Across the world of football, there is plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen very soon.

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

MIRALEM PJANIC

The 28-year-old has been linked with several clubs this summer, but it will take at least €85 million to prise him away from Juventus, according to Tuttosport. The hefty asking price is reportedly scaring away Barcelona, who are on the hunt for midfield replacements after Andres Iniesta left. Chelsea are another club who’ve had their eyes on the Bosnian, but Juventus appear in no hurry to see him leave.

GiorgioChielliniMiralemPjanicJuventus

LEONARDO BONUCCI

Manchester United appear to be closing in on the AC Milan defender, according to Corriere dello Sport. The former Juventus legend is a proven winner and someone Jose Mourinho apparently wants at Old Trafford, though rivals Manchester City are also reportedly interested in his services. Considering his stature, Milan will be reluctant to let the 31-year-old head out the door so easily.

leonardo-bonucci

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