Arsenal facing late battle to offload Sokratis after transfer falls through

Arsenal are looking to offload some fringe players in the coming days.

But the Gunners may now struggle to find a suitor for Sokratis Papastathopoulos before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

The Greek centre-back was destined for a Napoli switch earlier in the window, with a deal in place.

A deal was reportedly ready to be signed off if Kalidou Koulibaly ended up leaving Naples this summer, according to Rai Sport journalist Ciro Venerato.

“Satisfactory offers have not arrived for [Koulibaly]," he said earlier this summer. The club have locked Sokratis, but Nice also requested him. We will see what happens in the next few days.

"If Napoli sell Kalidou Koulibaly on October 4th, they can send a certified e-mail the morning of the 5th to Arsenal since everything is already done for the purchase of the Greek."

However, the Senegalese defender looks set to stay put.

Koulibaly was destined for a move to Manchester City before Pep Guardiola's side purchased Ruben Dias this week.

Sokratis' Italian switch now appears unlikely.

But according to Greek journalist Antonis Tsirakis, Everton actually reached out to try and secure a deal for the centre-back after he was told he wasn't in Mikel Arteta's plans.

"It seems that Everton closes in the stoppers with Ben Godfrey," he tweeted.

"What I do know is that contacts were made with Socrates Papastathopoulos as well. The latter has been informed that he is not counted at Arsenal.

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"Beyond that, Papastathopoulos' choices are diminishing.

"The problem for him started when his transfer to Napoli was ruined due to Koulibaly. The proposal from the UAE remains."

Arsenal are also keen to get Matteo Guendouzi and Shkodran Mustafi off the payroll in the next 24 hours.

Lucas Torreira is also expected to leave the Emirates after securing a move to Atletico Madrid.

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