Following recent reports of a potential exit for Cedric Soares, Sky Sports’ Michael Bridge has reported that the Arsenal defender is indeed drawing interest from elsewhere, and he’s looking to secure a January transfer.
However, Bridge adds that Cedric’s exit is likely to depend on whether the Gunners can sign a replacement.
“My information is that Arteta feels they might be a little bit light, so they might stop one of the fringe players going,” Bridge said (via GiveMeSport).
“For example, there’s a lot of interest in Cedric and my understanding is he wants to move on, but Arsenal won’t allow that unless they bring someone else in.”
ESPN had reported that Fulham, Bayer Leverkusen, and Villarreal are all interested in signing Cedric in the January transfer window, adding that the player would listen to offers if manager Mikel Arteta indicates he’s not part of his plans.
It seems that’s still unclear at this stage, if Bridge’s update is to be believed.
As it stands, Fulham are supposedly leading the race for Cedric, but they’re yet to submit a formal offer. A move would likely be on a loan basis at first, with an option or obligation to buy.
You wouldn’t have thought Arsenal would be too worried about letting Cedric go, even without a replacement.
The Portugal international has ended up behind both Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu in the Arsenal pecking order this season. Up until October 30th, he hadn’t even played a single minute, despite making the squad on 11 occasions.
Since then, the right-back has made four appearances totalling 119 minutes, but 90 of those were in the League Cup defeat to Brighton.
On the other hand, Arsenal’s squad really isn’t very large. An injury to Takehiro Tomiyasu (currently suffering with a thigh issue) would make Cedric the primary alternative to Ben White. An injury to one of the centre-backs could see White shifting back to a central role.
Even though we haven’t seen much of Cedric yet, it’s not impossible Arteta might view letting him go without signing a right-back or a centre-back as too much of a risk.