Premier League • England

Arteta rift could scupper January deal with London rival despite collapsed move making it doubly important

Mikel Arteta preparing for an Arsenal match

A London club are even more invested in signing an Arsenal star Mikel Arteta barely uses after being priced out of an alternative deal, though a difference of opinion could stop the move in its tracks.

All eyes will be on how the Gunners respond to their Gabriel Jesus injury blow. The Brazilian has undergone successful surgery to repair a medial ligament issue picked up while playing for Brazil in Qatar.

Jesus could miss a maximum of three months and the Gunners will be keen to ensure that absence doesn’t torpedo their title charge.

A vast array of forwards have been linked, such as Joao Felix and Mykhaylo Mudryk to name just two. However, both will cost sizeable fees and a cheaper alternative could be targeted.

In any case, today’s update regards a potential exit – that of the lesser-seen Cedric Soares.

The Portuguese veteran, 31, signed a permanent deal with Arsenal after initially joining on loan from Southampton.

Cedric is into his third year at the Emirates, though his game-time has plummeted. Indeed, he’s racked up just two cameo appearances in the league and not even the Europa League (two minutes in total) has given him an opportunity to prove his worth.

William Saliba establishing himself at centre-half has pushed Ben White over to Cedric’s right-back position.

Arteta can also call upon Takehiro Tomiyasu despite the fact both he and White are primarily centre-halves. Tomiyasu has generally played at full-back with the Gunners, though was a centre-back by trade at former club Bologna.

That’s left Cedric out in the cold and there’s been murmurings of a cross-London switch to Fulham in January being a viable escape route.

Fulham exploring Arsenal, Man Utd and Roma targets

Marco Silva’s side are flying high in ninth despite their issues at right-back. Indeed, the Cottagers deployed winger Bobby Reid in the position on several occasions prior to the World Cup.

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed they’re one of two clubs interested in ending Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s nightmare at Man Utd. However, the Red Devils would prefer a permanent sale and Fulham aren’t flush with cash.

Their lack of funds has also ended their chances of signing wantaway Roma star, Rick Karsdorp.

That’s according to, who state Roma’s valuation of €10m-€12m is too much for Fulham.

That’s put a move for Cedric back in focus with the report namechecking the Arsenal star specifically. Cedric can reportedly be signed for a far more modest €4m-€5m.

A deal looks there for the making on paper. Indeed, Arsenal rarely feature Cedric and Fulham have an issue they need resolving. What’s more, Cedric would not have to move far and would be given a chance to play regularly once again as his career winds down.

However, Sky Sports reporter, Michael Bridge, previously detailed a difference of opinion involving Arteta that could block the move.

Arteta unwilling to let Cedric leave?

“My information is that Arteta feels they might be a little bit light, so they might stop one of the fringe players going,” he told GIVEMESPORT in late-November.

“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.”

Arteta’s caution is understandable given what’s at stake in the second half of the season. No manager wants a decision they’ve made to wind up costing them the league title and injuries to White or Tomiyasu would bring Cedric back into the fold.

But given he’s not even featuring in the Europa League, it’s clear Cedric will hardly play unless those ahead of him pick up an injury.

Unless Cedric can change Arteta’s mind, he and Fulham may be left disappointed.

READ MORE: Five low budget options Arsenal could target to replace Gabriel Jesus in the January transfer window