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Sokratis' agent brands Arsenal exit rumours 'fake news'

10:30 BST 29/07/2020
Sokratis Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners defender has been strongly linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium this summer

Arsenal centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos' agent has branded the exit rumours surrounding his client as "fake news".

Sokratis completed an £18 million ($23m) move to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2018, and has since racked up 68 appearances for the club, scoring six goals.

The Greece international was a fixture in Unai Emery's starting line-up at Emirates Stadium, but has found regular playing time harder to come by under his successor Mikel Arteta.

Sokratis has only featured once for Arsenal since the Spaniard's arrival December, and was an unused substitute in the club's final eight fixtures of the 2019-20 campaign.

Arteta has reportedly deemed the 32-year-old surplus to requirements, with David Luiz and Rob Holding currently serving as his first-choice centre-back pairing.

The Gunners boss is expected to bolster his defensive ranks now that the summer transfer window is open, and it has been suggested that Sokratis will be moved on before he becomes a free agent next year.

Despite the ongoing speculation surrounding the former Dortmund star's future, his representative Konstantinos Farras has dismissed any possibility of a transfer.

The Greek agent said during an interview with British football journalist Fred Paxton: "He [Sokratis] will stay. I don’t see a reason to leave. I don’t know why everyone is writing wrong and fake news."

Sokratis admitted back in March that he would not hesitate to seek a move away from the Emirates should there ever come a time that he no longer feels wanted.

"If I’m not happy, I don’t play enough or the coach doesn’t like me, I don’t care about the contract," he told reporters.

"For me, the money is not important, it is important I feel good, I feel happy and the team is happy with me. If not, I take the road and I finish.

"I don’t think about it, I think every day to be happy and help the team and in the end, we will see but what I say is that I am not a player who sits on a contract – I don’t need it."

Arsenal wrapped up their latest Premier League campaign with a 3-2 home win over Watford on Sunday, which ensured that they finished eighth in the final standings.

Arteta is now preparing his side for a huge FA Cup final showdown against Chelsea, which will be staged behind closed doors at Wembley this weekend.