By Wayne Veysey

1st Oct, 2020 | 10:40am

Exclusive: Arsenal senior star responds as Fulham make contact & willing to pay asking price

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has snubbed a potential move to Fulham, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The 32-year-old is into the final nine months of his contract at the Emirates and the Gunners are open to his sale before Monday’s deadline.

A source at Craven Cottage has told Football Insider that Fulham made contact over the possibility of a loan or permanent deal and were willing to meet Arsenal’s asking price for the player.

However, the centre-half has knocked the Cottagers’ approach back despite having seemingly been frozen out by Mikel Arteta in 2020.

Sokratis is yet to feature for the Gunners this season and has only made one Premier League appearance since January.

The Greece international appears surplus to requirements in north London with Rob Holding, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Willian Saliba, Callum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi all in competition for the centre-back positions.

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Despite this he has rejected a potential move to Craven Cottage in the latest blow to Scott Parker’s side’s bid to sign a centre-half.

The club are casting their web wide in their search for a new defender, Football Insider has revealed that talks have been held with Barcelona over Jean-Clair Todibo, while Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann and Wolves’ Ryan Bennett are also being considered.

A 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Monday highlighted Fulham’s defensive frailties.

Director of Football, Tony Khan, took to Twitter in the aftermath of the loss to apologise to fans for the performance and explain the club’s difficulties in recruiting a centre-half.

Scott Parker has already signed Anthony Knockhaert, Harrison Reed, Kenny Tete, Ola Aina, Mario Lemina, Atonee Robinson and Alphonse Areola this summer.

In other Fulham news, Norwich City response to Fulham swoop for Ben Godfrey can be REVEALED as defender hunt continues.