Arsenal have agreed to terminate the contract of Greek international defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
“Working closely with Sokratis and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent,” Arsenal said in a statement.
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.
His current deal was set to expire in the summer but Papastathopoulos agreed to end his time with the club earlier than planned.
“On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club,” said Technical director Edu.
“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.”
Papastathopoulos joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018 and made 69 appearances for the club.
He was part of the Emirates FA Cup-winning squad in August and played 12 matches during Arsenal’s run to the Europa League final in 2019.
The Greek footballer is now free to speak to other clubs, with Sevilla, Real Betis and Genoa among those said to be interested.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Papastathopoulos said: “One of the most enjoyable times in my career ended today. It has been an honour to wear the Arsenal shirt and I want to thank all the coaches, team-mates, staff and fans around the world for the love and respect they have given me.”
“I gave everything for Arsenal and Arsenal also gave me a lot. I wish you all the best health and success always. Thank you. @Arsenal”
One of the most enjoyable times in my career ended today. It has been an honour to wear the Arsenal shirt and I want to thank all the coaches, team-mates, staff and fans around the world for the love and respect they have given me. pic.twitter.com/F5p3VEXX2i
— Sokratis Papastathopoulos (@SokratisPapa5) January 20, 2021