As Europa League rivals Real Betis line up a deal for Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rangers won’t have to fear the ex-Arsenal star facing off against them.
The Gers know that they face a potentially group defining trip to Seville to face Real Betis on matchday six of this season’s Europa League.
With all four teams in the group having three points the state of play is finely poised heading into matchday three with Rangers to visit Sparta Prague and Real Betis to visit Aris Limassol this week.
So as Fabrizio Romano revealed that Real Betis were in discussions with ex-Gunners defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos you’ll forgive some fans for having their interest piqued.
With qualification for the next round of the competition potentially on the line in Spain, any boost to Real Betis’ ranks is bound to have a knock on affect at Rangers.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos not available to play for Real Betis in Europa League
In the case of Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who cost Arsenal £17.7m when they signed him from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 – any move will not impact Real Betis’ Europa League squad.
Despite the fact the the 35-year-old Greek defender is unattached after release from Olympiakos in the summer, Real Betis cannot add players into their Europa League squad past the deadline.
This means that Rangers will not have to worry about facing Sokratis Papastathopoulos in Seville, even if the defender doesn’t quite boast the same prowess he once did.
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Real Betis look to be on the hunt for a new defender after having their squad disrupted at the end of the transfer window due to the financial pull of the Saudi Pro League.
Brazilian-born Italian international centre-back Luiz Felipe was sold in a £21.5m deal after the Spanish transfer window had already closed with the club failing to replace his influence this season.
Rangers’ only victory of the Europa League group stage to date came against Real Betis, with Abdallah Sima scoring the solitary goal in a 1-0 victory.