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Sokratis’ Arsenal exit talked up by Napoli chief in bizarre interview


Arsenal look set to offload Sokratis Papastathopoulos this summer after signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.

Napoli are eyeing a cut-price deal for the Greek defender, 32, who seemingly doesn’t have a future at the Gunners under boss Mikel Arteta.

Reports suggest Sokratis will soon be a Serie A star, despite Napoli also chasing Arsenal team-mate and fellow centre-back Shkodran Mustafi in recent weeks.


And now president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed his club’s interest – in a rather bizarre interview with Italian media on Thursday.

“Papastathopoulos? We are working on it, we are seeing,” he told Kiss Kiss Napoli, relayed by Calcio Napoli 24.


“The outgoing market is all laughter. In the cinema you are confronted with people with ten thousand balls, in the world of football the balls swell up, and everyone invents all sorts of balls.

“They’re blackmailers, but I’ve got calluses in them, and I’m swimming in the s**t I move. I’d like to see how shameless they want to get.”


Napoli were keen to sign Magalhaes this summer but lost out to Arsenal, who secured a £27m deal earlier this week.

The Italian outfit were the front-runners at the beginning of the summer and had even agreed terms with the Brazilian.


Arsenal swooped in, with the 22-year-old opting to join the Premier League instead.

Sokratis’ arrival is likely to coincide with the departure of Kalidou Koulibaly, who has attracted interest from Manchester City.

Quizzed on the Senegalese defender’s potential exit, De Laurentiis added: “Yes [he could leave] but with the right conditions. When there are important offers, we will sell.


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“In this country which guarantees nothing to anyone and in this Europe, which is in total decay, the fans need to live for the day.

“We will do our best.

“They offered me €100m and I rejected it, doing damage to my club.”


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