The club has also reached an agreement with Real Madrid to extend Dani Ceballos’ loan until the current campaign ends.
Soares will sign on a free transfer when his current deal with Southampton ends. He is believed to have signed a four-year deal and will provide back-up to Hector Bellerin at right-back. Having joined on loan in January, he’s not yet played due to injuries.
Pablo Mari’s loan move will also become permanent with reports in Brazil claiming the deal could cost anywhere up to €20 million, including add-ons. The centre-back has only started twice since moving from Flamengo in January and is facing a long spell on the sidelines having injured his ankle against Manchester City last week.
David Luiz’s one-year extension should have been easy to arrange but proved anything but. Signed last summer for £8 million from Chelsea, we had an option to trigger a 12-month extension, didn’t take it up and then had to spend weeks negotiating when his agent, Kia Joorabchian, pushed for a two-year deal instead. It appears to have gone to the wire with the player settling on the original terms. Many people are rightly questioning why we’ve extended his deal at all given his six-figure weekly wage packet and his erratic form in an Arsenal shirt.
Keeping Ceballos for another couple of months certainly makes sense in the current circumstances. With our midfield decimated, he’s getting regular game time. That said, he’s going to have to turn into Patrick Vieira for us to consider buying him outright. There’s a big price on his head and he’s not done anything near enough to justify it.
Speaking about the deal, technical director Edu said: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.
“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.
“With Pablo we’re all disappointed he got injured at Manchester City. Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed. We were really pleased with Pablo – his behaviour, the way he is training, his mentality and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course, we are really happy to keep him for the future.
“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position. We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”