Arsenal set to make late move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares

Cedric Soares has just six months left on his Southampton contract and has been linked with a move to Arsenal
Cedric Soares has just six months left on his Southampton contract and has been linked with a move to Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are considering making a late move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares in an attempt to ease their mounting injury crisis.

The 28-year-old, who has spent the majority of his career playing at right-back, has just six months remaining on his current contract and, according to the Telegraph, Southampton will listen to offers in the region of £6million.

Mikel Arteta’s already threadbare squad was hit by another injury last night after Shkodran Mustafi was taken off on a stretcher midway through the second half of a 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win at Bournemouth.

‘They’re going to assess him between today and tomorrow but when a player has to come off, normally with a central defender – hopefully I am wrong but – normally it’s not good news,’ said Arteta in his post match press conference.

Calum Chambers will miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, while Rob Holding is still easing his way back into the first team picture having recovered from an identical setback which ruled him out for 10 months.

Hector Bellerin, too, is yet to rediscover his best form following a serious knee injury which has forced Ainsley Maitland-Niles to deputise at right-back.

Bukayo Saka has filled in on the opposite flank, meanwhile, in the absences of both Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney and although he delivered a man of the match performance at the Vitality Stadium, Arteta again referenced the difficulty he faces in being forced to field makeshift full-backs.

‘It is the situation now because we don’t have any left backs at the moment,’ said Arteta last night.

‘What I like is that he’s put his head down, it’s not his favourite position to play, but we try to adapt him with his qualities to play him as much as possible in the position that he likes.

‘But then he is very willing to learn all the defensive principals that we are asking him to do and his attitude is really good.’

A move for Flamengo’s Pablo Mari remains in the balance after the Spaniard returned to Brazil on Monday, while Arsenal are said to remain interested in Shakhtar Donetsk centre-half Mykola Matviyenko.

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