Following on from reports that emerged yesterday, Arsenal are set to sign Southampton defender Cedric Soares on loan until the end of the season.
The 28 year old is out of contract St Mary’s, and the Gunners will apparently pay around £5m to take him to the Emirates – a fee that includes covering his wages in full, but still feels quite expensive for such a short period of time and for a player you could sign for nothing in five months time.
Expectation is Arsenal will complete signing of 28yo Portugal full-back Cedric Soares from Southampton within 24hrs. Loan until end of season will earn #SaintsFC £5m inc full salary cover + put #AFC in pole position if they want permanent when free agent in summer @TheAthleticUK
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 29, 2020
On the face of it, it’s a strange deal as Hector Bellerin has recently looked much more like his old self after some injury problems and Ainsley Maitland-Niles has done well deputising for him – especially since Mikel Arteta took over. It’s not as if there’s a pressing need at right-back.
However, it looks as if he’ll become a Gunner tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see what happens with Maitland-Niles. Could it be a case he could be shifted into midfield to allow Dani Ceballos to leave after his well documented desire for more playing time?
Soares is represented by Jorge Mendes, and after a long time not dealing with him, he’ll now have been involved in two Arsenal deals. He was also an intermediary between two clubs whose transfer business is run by former Barcelona colleagues (Raul Sanllehi and Marc Ingla) when we signed Nicolas Pepe during the summer for a club record fee of £72m.
Southampton have already moved to fill the gap in their squad by signing Sp*rs prospect Kyle Walker-Peters on loan, while Soares himself was taken off during Southampton’s last Premier League game with a knee ligament injury which is expected to keep him out for around three weeks.