Arsenal have agreed to terminate the contract of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos
The 32-year-old, who has not started a game since March, failed to make Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season and has been frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta.
His current deal was set to expire in the summer but the centre back has agreed to end his time with the club earlier than planned.
A statement on the club’s website read: ‘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. The Greek international defender joined us from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018 and made 69 appearances for us. He was part of the Emirates FA Cup-winning squad in August and played 12 matches during our run to the Europa League final in 2019.’
Arsenal’s technical director Edu said: ‘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.’
The defender joined Arsenal in a £17million deal from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and has made 69 appearances for the north London side.
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His last appearance was as a last-minute substitute in the FA Cup final in August, which Arsenal won 2-1.
Napoli and Fenerbache have also been linked with the centre back. A move to Fenerbache would see Sokratis link-up with former team-mate Mesut Ozil.