Arsenal agree to release Sokratis as Arteta receives another wage bill boost

Arsenal have agreed to release Sokratis Papastathopoulos, freeing up over £90,000 per week at the club.

Sokratis has not made a single appearance for the Gunners this season having been left out of Mikel Arteta’s squads.

He has not played since the FA Cup final in August with his only appearances coming with the club’s Under-21s.

His contract was due to end in the summer with the 32-year-old having cost around £18m back in 2018.

Though the Gunners have confirmed they have now reached an agreement with Sokratis to terminate his current deal.

The likes of Napoli, Olympiacos and Genoa have all been linked with the Greek defender, who made 69 appearances for Arsenal.

Fenerbahce are also believed to be interested having signed Mesut Ozil, who was also released from his Arsenal contract.

Sokratis was believed to be earning £92,000 per week at the Emirates, funds which could come in vital to Arteta.

The centre-back has previously played in both Italy and Greece, while also spending time in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen.

Sokratis previously said: “Football has changed a lot in the past 10 or 12 years. When I started football, I was in Italy.

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“I was in Greece first, but afterwards I made the step to Italy. It was not so necessary to play out from the back and because of this, you also didn’t concede a lot of chances or a lot of goals.

“Now, every team, or most, has to start from the back and exchange a lot of passes to arrive in the opposite area and to score. The more passes and more things you do, you also have more risk inside.

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“For this, it’s more beautiful football, but also the teams concede more goals because the players are not robots. Everybody makes mistakes.

“That's why being a defender these days is very difficult. I think it is one of the most difficult positions.

“Maybe you don’t have to run like a midfielder, but every mistake that you do is a very hard mistake for the team, so you pay very expensively.”

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