Arsenal are trying to complete the loan signing of Cedric Soares from Southampton today, with the option to make it permanent in the summer.
The Evening Standard write that Arsenal will pay a loan fee of £1m for Cedric Soares, which could rise to around £3m with add-ons. Significantly less than the £5m previously claimed. They’re hoping to finalise the deal today.
Southampton are in agreement with Arsenal, so only final talks with the player and a medical remain. Soares is on wages of around £65,000-a-week, which Arsenal will also cover. Not particularly high wages for a Premier League signing today.
Though Arsenal are only taking the player on loan at first, he’s a free agent in the summer. As a result, the Gunners won’t have to pay a transfer fee to sign him permanently at that stage.
Arsenal have an option on the table for a longer-term deal this summer, reportedly set at four years.
The club want Soares to compete with Hector Bellerin, but they also value his ability to cover at left-back. Right now, Bukayo Saka is the only option at the club on that side.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles covered well at right-back for the last few months, but Arteta doesn’t see him there. The player himself also wants to play in midfield. Signing an actual Premier League-proven right-back as a Bellerin-alternative makes more sense.
Unfortunately, Soares is out with injury right now. After starting 12 consecutive Premier League games for Southampton, he picked up an injury in the most recent one. The suggestion is that he’ll spend three weeks on the sidelines, with almost one down so far.
That’s unlikely to hold up a deal though, with Arsenal a few days away from a two-week winter break. The three weeks will be up before the next game after Burnley.