Date: 25th May 2018 at 5:02am
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Arsenal are looking to significantly bolster their ranks this summer after missing out on Champions League football once again and defence is likely to be an area of focus.

The Gunners lost experienced defender Per Mertesacker to retirement, while Laurent Koscielny faces a lengthy absence through injury and speculation continues to orientate over the head of Shkodran Mustafi.

Arsenal are eying a new centre-back to slot into the first-team and Sky Sports report that Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is ‘very close’ to sealing a move, with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat the driving force behind the deal.

“The head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is very powerful even in the last window. He was the driving force behind the players they were signing. Arsenal are looking for a centre-half. They have been looking at the German market. Talks with Sokratis Papastathopoulos at Borussia Dortmund are very close… Centre-half is a priority.”

29-year-old Greece defender Sokratis could become the latest ex-Dortmund ace to arrive at the Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners landing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.