If Arsenal want to use David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Dani Ceballos, Cedric Soares and reserve keeper Matt Macey after our trip to Brighton on Saturday week, we need to confirm short-term contract extensions that see them through until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
The deadline for extensions, set by the Premier League, is 23 June.
While some Championship clubs have struggled on this front – Charlton’s Lyle Taylor has turned down an extension because he doesn’t want to risk an injury that could scupper a big-money move – the situation should be simple enough for the Gunners.
Kia Joorabchian has stated recently that David Luiz is open to extending his stay at the Emirates for another season even though the club failed to activate an option to keep him for a further 12-months. With Benfica stepping away from a deal citing the defender’s prohibitively high wages, we’re expected to announce an extension soon.
Pablo Mari has spoken openly about his desire to lay down roots at Arsenal after a nomadic few years that have seen him play in Holland, Spain and most recently Brazil. Pablo is currently on loan until 30 June but is expected to make his move permanent in a deal that will net Flamengo around £8 million.
Dani Ceballos nearly quit Arsenal in January as he panicked about his chances of making Spain’s European Championship squad. He then won over Mikel Arteta, forced his way back into the reckoning and was a mainstay in the first team prior to Covid-19. Given the price tag on his head, a permanent deal seems very unlikely but it’s understood an agreement for a short-term extension is in place.
Things are less clear for Soares and Macey. The Portugal international, 28, was a surprise loan signing from Southampton in January, arrived injured and still hasn’t played for the Gunners. He’s not even featured in the two most recent friendlies with Charlton and Brentford after a nasty knock to the face saw him forced to wear a non-Covid-19-related face mask.
With Hector Bellerin fit, Arteta liking Sokratis at right-back and Ainsley Maitland-Niles able to do a job there, we probably don’t need Soares but offering him a temporary extension feels like the gentlemanly thing to do.
When the season is over, you’d expect him to find another club. However, with Joorabchian involved in his arrival, it’s not quite as clear cut as that. Now that we’re in bed with super agents, you’re never quite sure what they are going to demand and pressure could be heaped on us to retain Soares. We’ll see.
Macey, 25, is the only player in and around the first team squad who is out of contract this summer. The club’s third-choice keeper was on the bench for a couple of League Cup games but otherwise has had to make do with minutes for the under-23s and in the EFL Trophy.
He’s been at the club for seven years and there’s been no hint of talks about a contract extension. While we expect he’ll be retained in the short-term until the end of the season, his Arsenal career could be coming to an end.