FA Cup finalists and Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are waging war of a different kind right now. Both teams are interested in signing defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is currently playing for Borussia Dortmund.
Both clubs are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements, and the upcoming transfer window gives them the ideal opportunity to find new players.
Hailing from Greece, Papastathopoulos has hinted that he wants to leave the German giants soon, and is on the lookout for a team that will add to his trophy collection at the end of the 2016-17 season. The 29 year old centre back has said that he is keen to win a league title in the next few years, and he will accept a transfer if this makes his chances of doing so more likely.
Papastathopoulos feels that the combination of Bayern Munich’s dominance in Germany and the rise of RB Leipzig could thwart his chances if he stays at Dortmund, and with the new managerial changes, now would be a good time to leave.
He has also grown disillusioned with his team and life at the Westfalenstadion in general, after they finished 18 points behind Bayern Munich in the league standings. This threw sports betting soccer fans into a state of disarray, as previously Borussia Dortmund was always ahead of Bayern in the rankings.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal now have Papastathopoulos in their sights and Chelsea is also looking at a list of other potential targets, including Southhamptons Virgil van Dijk.
They also have another joint interest with Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger has said that they too are keen on signing at least one more centre back, so Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci is also hot property.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United are also keen on AS Monaco midfield enforcer Tiemoue Bakayoko, so the transfer season looks set to be one fraught with competition.
For Papastathopoulos he knows time is of the essence, and although he is signed with Dortmund until 2019, he really wants a league title, and he knows that he is getting older, and the older he gets, the less likely it is that this will happen.
The fact that both Chelsea and Arsenal are keen on signing him now is a real coup and as he had 26 league starts in the last season under Thomas Tuchel, they know what he is capable of.
Papastathopoulos has not only played for Dortmund since 2013, he also enjoyed long stints at AC Milan, AEK Athens and Werder Bremen, so he brings a wealth of experience with him. As Chelsea are looking to replace John Terry and add depth to their team, he seems like a natural choice, but it remains to be seen whether Chelsea will beat Arsenal to the transfer table.