Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Borussia Dortmund centre-back and Manchester United target Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Arsenal are close to signing Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos this summer, according to reports from BBC Sport, amid claims of frequent contact between the Greek international and Jose Mourinho over a move to Manchester United (German outlet Sport 1).

The former AC Milan defender is allegedly highly rated by new Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who is said to be keen on bolstering his defensive options following Laurent Koscienly’s serious Achilles injury, but could there be an added bonus for the Gunners?

The Red Devils have reportedly been plotting a move for Tottenham Hotspur’s superstar defender Toby Alderweireld for a number of weeks now, and news of Mourinho entering negotiations for Sokratis were the only viable reports of the Portuguese moving for an alternative option.

Reports of the asking price being raised to £75 million for the Belgian international (Daily Mirror), led many to believe United would look into other options for the summer. But with Arsenal’s impending move for Sokratis seemingly nearing its conclusion, United are looking all the more likely to return to negotiations for the 29-year-old Tottenham man.

The saga could eventually lead to the departure of winger Anthony Martial – going the other way – as Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino looks to beef up his attacking options behind Harry Kane, but it seems United are dead-set on bringing in another defender this summer and Alderweireld is high on the list.

In other news, 'No intention of leaving': Reported £11m Newcastle and West Ham target is going nowhere