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Sokratis Papastathopoulos is keen to leave Arsenal for Real Betis but, according to Goal, the La Liga outfit must raise funds before they can sign the Greece international.

Despite boasting one of Spain’s most expensively assembled squads – featuring Portugal international William Carvalho, ex-Barcelona ace Marc Bartra and World Cup winner Nabil Fekir – Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis have been a major disappointment in 2020/21.

A combination of misfiring strikers and error-prone defenders make for a less-than-tasty cocktail and, midway through the season, Los Verdiblancos are as close to the relegation zone as they are the top six.

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Furthermore, no-one in La Liga has conceded more than Real Betis’ 31 goals.

Unsurprisingly, an experienced centre-back is at the top of their January wish list. Sokratis, who has been left out of Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad and will see his £5 million-a-year contract expire in June, is Real Betis’ top target.

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Goal reports Sokratis is keen on a move to Andalusia and Arsenal, who are desperate to get his £96,000-a-week contract off the wage bill, won’t stand in his way.

But, until Betis find a way to boost their coffers and ease those Financial Fair Play pressures, Sokratis will be left in limbo.

Goal adds the 2005 Copa del Rey winners are trying to find a buyer for veteran defender Sidnei, while Carvalho could be reunited with his former Sporting Lisbon boss Jorge Jesus at Benfica.

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