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Sanchez deal 'so close'; Wenger waits

Transfers
Read

Arsenal to sign defender Konstantinos Mavropanos - Arsene Wenger

Julien Laurens examines the difficult choice Arsenal face: selling Alexis Sanchez for a nominal fee or watching him leave on a free move in the summer.
Shaka Hislop is optimistic of Arsenal's future without Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez should the two stars leave the Gunners.

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal will make 20-year-old Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos their first January signing from PAS Giannina.

Asked about the deal after Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger said: "Yes but he's not ready to play for us, we'll give him out on loan."

A source had told ESPN FC earlier Wednesday that the clubs were negotiating a deal worth about £2 million and that would likely see Mavropanos sent on loan to Werder Bremen in order to gain more first-team experience.

Wenger had said on Tuesday that he is also looking to sign "exceptional" players in January that can give his side an immediate boost.

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will loan Konstantinos Mavropanos after signing him.

Mavropanos is a towering centre-back who has impressed in his first full season in the Greek league, scoring three goals in 14 appearances.

Arsenal will need a replacement for retiring captain Per Mertesacker next season, while Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are also both in their 30s.

However, Arsenal already have young centre-back duo Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, while highly rated Krystian Bielik is spending this season on loan at Birmingham.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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