Mikel Arteta has performed a U-turn and is prepared to sell a rarely seen star to a London rival in January, with a report now claiming a deal is close.
While the upcoming headlines at the Emirates will revolve around who’ll arrive to offset Gabriel Jesus’ injury absence, today’s update regards a potential exit.
William Saliba finally being given his chance this season forced Ben White over to right-back. The England international has performed capably in his new role, with his solid displays keeping Takehiro Tomiyasu at bay.
The two defenders are centre-backs by trade, though Arteta has full confidence in the pair at full-back and they’ve justified his faith.
However, that’s punted Cedric Soares down to third-choice right-back.
The Portuguese has just four appearances to his name all season and not even Arsenal’s presence in the Europa League has provided a chance to prove his worth.
Now 31, Cedric is reaching a crossroads in his career and with regular game-time in north London a distant memory, a move across the capital is taking shape.
Arteta releases Cedric shackles
talkSPORT report London rivals Fulham are hopeful of completing a January swoop after the Portuguese was ‘told he can leave’.
That new stance represents something of a U-turn from Arteta given the reporting of Sky Sports last month.
Indeed, their reporter, Michael Bridge, previously claimed Arteta was hesitant to let Cedric depart mid-season. With good reason, no manager wants to rock the boat and potentially leave themselves light when the campaign is progressing so well.
Bridge said: “My information is that Arteta feels they might be a little bit light, so they might stop one of the fringe players going.
“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.”
However, fast forward to the present day and talkSPORT are convinced Arteta and Arsenal have now given the green light for Cedric to leave.
Fulham to sign Arsenal star outright?
The Cottagers have issues at right-back with Kenny Tete struggling with injury in the first half of the season. Summer recruit, Kevin Mbabu, has only been handed two league starts with winger Bobby Reid deployed out of position at right-back prior to the World Cup.
They had been mentioned as one of the runners and riders for Man Utd’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, it’s Cedric they’ve now locked on to, with the report concluding Fulham are ‘set to land’ the veteran defender.
There’s no indication in the piece as to whether it’ll be a loan or permanent move. However, a clue in that regard recently came from Italy.
RomaGialloRossa.it named Fulham as a primary candidate to sign Cedric when detailing Roma’s interest earlier this week.
They claimed Arsenal will only seek a modest sum of €4m-€5m for Cedric, thus suggesting a permanent switch is in play. The Sun also reported Cedric will join Fulham outright, as opposed to on loan, if the deal goes through.