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Arsenal close in on double signing to bolster back division

By Adam McKendry

Arsenal are understood to be close to deals for both Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

New boss Unai Emery has arrived at the Emirates Stadium and, after signing veteran defender Stephan Lichtsteiner and inking highly-promising young talent Ainsley Maitland-Niles to a long-term deal yesterday, has set his sights on adding several players in the transfer market.

And it is believed that the Spaniard is nearing two more additions to his squad having quickly made moves for Leno and Sokratis, who could be Arsenal players by the end of the week.

Both would aid the north Londoners' defence considerably, with 26-year old Leno replacing Petr Cech between the sticks and Sokratis likely to partner Laurent Koscielny in the heart of the defence.

Leno has long been angling for a move away from Leverkusen, with the former German international - who was left out of their World Cup squad - openly admitting his development as a world-class stopper has been halted somewhat and he would like a change of scenery.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are also the favourites to sign Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira, however they will face stiff opposition from Juventus who are also keen on the 22-year old Uruguayan.

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