Arsenal have terminated Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ contract after reaching an agreement with the Greece international to bring his Gunners career to an end.
Sokratis arrived at the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, making 40 appearances in all competitions during his maiden campaign. After this initial success, he fell down the pecking order under new manager Mikel Arteta, only making a handful of subsequent appearances when the Spaniard took over in December 2019.
This season, Arteta left him out of his 25-man Premier League squad, alongside Mesut Ozil, suggesting his time with the club was coming to an end.
Arsenal have now released a statement, revealing: “Working closely with Sokratis and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent.
“This gives Papa the freedom to negotiate a contract with a new club and return to action as soon as possible.”
Technical director Edu added: “On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club.
“He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout. The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.”
During his time in north London, the Greece international secured an FA Cup winner’s medal and was also part of the side that was defeated by Chelsea in the 2019 Europa League final.
News of his departure comes after Ozil‘s was basically confirmed, even though Arsenal are yet to comment. The World Cup winner has linked up with Fenerbahce, who beat off competition from DC United and a host of Turkish sides to secure his signature.
After freeing up these wages, Arsenal may decide to dip into the transfer market with several names being linked this month. Arteta desires greater creativity in his squad and Norwich star Emiliano Buendia has been one name mentioned.
However, it remains to be seen whether a deal is possible with the Canaries holding firm in their asking price, which is believed to be between £40m and £50m. Another possible new recruit is Shakhtar Donetsk forward Manor Solomon, who has impressed in the Champions League recently.