Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac has held three meetings with Schalke's sporting director as he considers a return to his former club. Meanwhile, fellow defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos could also be on his way out this summer with Napoli a possible destination.
The Gunners have strengthened at the back this summer with Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares' loan moves being made permanent, while former Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba have also now arrived. However, with the list of defenders registered to the club continuing to grow, departures are expected this summer.
Starting with Sokratis, the Greece international has been linked with a move away in recent weeks after falling out of favour under Arteta in the second half of the 2019/20 season. Indeed, the centre-back didn't feature at all in Arsenal's last ten Premier League games last season.
Gianluca Di Marzio now reports that Napoli are looking to bring him in, but aren't looking to pay a transfer fee even though he has just under one year to run on his contract. It's noted the Serie A club are 'hoping' Sokratis can strike an agreement with the Gunners to allow him to walk away for free, but Arsenal are seeking a compensation fee for his services and have even proposed a new contract.
The Gunners aren't keen to lose a player who is greatly valued at the club for free, even if he has struggled for minutes on the field. However, should Napoli improve their offer, Arteta could be tempted to offload Sokratis in order to raise funds for the remainder of the transfer window.
Kolasinac, meanwhile, could also be on his way out of the Emirates this summer, with Bild reporting that the German-born Bosnia international has met three times with former club Schalke's sporting director Jochen Schneider regarding a move. It's also claimed the left-back has openly discussed the idea of returning to Schalke with friends and the excitement it would bring.
The Bundesliga outfit are very keen to make the move happen as they are in desperate need of a new left-back. The 27-year-old remains a firm fan favourite and would be welcomed back with open arms, but Bild note that at this moment in time, it could be challenging for the club to finance a move.
Furthermore, Bayer Leverkusen are also interested in his services. Kolasinac has played an important role under Arteta, with the defender often operating as the left-wing back in the latter stages of last season.
Source : 90min