Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos that he no longer has a future at the club as he plans a major overhaul of his squad, according to reports.
Sokratis has not made a Premier League appearance since March and has played a solitary minute of football since Arsenal returned to action, coming on as a late substitute in their FA Cup win at Sheffield United last month.
The 32-year-old, who was signed by former boss Unai Emery in 2018 and is out of contract in 2021, has been bluntly told that he will not be required next season, football.london says.
Sokratis is not expected to suffer the same fate as outcast Matteo Guendouzi by being isolated from the rest of the squad.
His lack of appearances during a period when Arteta has faced injury problems and repeatedly called for better defensive performances has highlighted how far he is from the new manager’s plans.
Speaking after his side beat Watford 3-2 in their final Premier League match of the season, Arteta said: ‘At the back we are really, really short.
‘[We have] three central defenders that are not available and we haven’t had them available for a long time anyway during this season. We will have to address that.’
Sokratis’ sole league appearance since Arteta was appointed in December came against West Ham in Arsenal’s final match before the season was suspended for more than three months.
The former Dortmund defender played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium but was left out of the squad for the two matches that followed and was an unused substitute for the final eight games of the campaign.