Real Betis have ruled out a move for Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, despite the player choosing them ahead of the competition.

That’s according to Estadio Deportivo, who say the financial situation at the Spanish club means they can’t move for the Greek defender this month.

Sokratis is widely expected to leave the Emirates before the end of the January transfer window, having been left out of both of their squads earlier this season.

Reports have indicated that he is negotiating a termination of his contract with Arsenal, which is set to expire in the summer anyway.

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That would leave him as a free agent this month and several clubs, including Betis, are all thought to be keen on his signature. Indeed, it was claimed yesterday that Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini had explicitly asked the club to sign the centre-back.

However, Estadio report that a lack of space in the wage budget and ‘financial resources’ means that move cannot happen this month, despite the player being keen on the move.

It’s explained that Sokratis’ relationship with Marc Bartra, who he played alongside at Borussia Dortmund, had ‘convinced’ him to move to the Spanish club and sign a deal in Heliopolis until 2023.

That would have seen him rejecting other offers that have been presented to him, with Genoa and Fenerbahce named specifically.

Pellegrini, though, has announced there will be no new arrivals before the end of the transfer window, with the club instead using any departures to close up a ‘salary gap’ in the club’s finances.

A move for the Arsenal man is therefore off the table for the time being, with him set to ‘study’ any offers that come his way and wait until the summer instead.

That will allow him to ensure that no clubs become ‘ostracised’ and could re-open the door to Betis, who will have ‘more capacity to act’ by that point.