Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ agent says the defender “will stay” at Arsenal and blasted the recent exit rumours as “fake news”.
Sokratis has been out of favour at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta in the period after lockdown. In fact the Greek international has featured for just one minute – in the FA Cup win over Sheffield United.
That has led to speculation over the 32-year-old centre-back’s future. He is under contract at The Emirates until 2021, but, according to football.london, Sokatris does not feature in Arteta’s plans for the future.
In fact the report claims the player has been told bluntly he simply does not fit into Arteta’s tactical plan and will not play significant games under him.
But asked about leaving the club, Sokratis’ representative, Konstantinos Farras, told reporter Freddie Paxton.: “He will stay.”
“I don’t see a reason to leave. I don’t know why everyone is writing wrong and fake news.”
Arsenal look set to start next season with three central defenders sidelined following injuries to Mustafi (hamstring), Calum Chambers (knee) and Pablo Mari (ankle).
‘I never sit on my contract’
William Saliba will return after his loan at St Etienne, but Arteta knows it’s a position he needs to strengthen.
Speaking after Arsenal’s victory over Watford, Arteta said: “I already mentioned to you three central defenders that are not available and we haven’t had them available for a long time anyway during this season. We will have to address that.”
Sokratis, who moved to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, has previously suggested he would not sit on his contract.
Having previously said he would leave when his contract expired in 2021, Sokratis suggested in March that could change.
“I don’t know,” he replied when asked if he would leave next year. “I have one more year here but me, I never sit on my contract,” he said.
“If I’m not happy, I don’t play enough or the coach doesn’t like me, I don’t care about the contract.
“For me the money is not important, it is important I feel good, I feel happy and the team is happy with me. If not, I take the road and I finish.”
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