Premier League • England

Arsenal January transfer collapsed due to astonishing player demand, but summer move now set

Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares and manager Mikel Arteta

Cedric's January exit fell through thanks to a stunning demand

Why Arsenal failed to shift forgotten right-back Cedric Soares during the January window has been revealed and the reason relates to the player, though a summer move is now set, according to a report.

Cedric, 32, is way down the pecking order at the Emirates. Ben White is Mikel Arteta’s No 1 option at right-back. Beyond White, Arteta can also call upon Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Thomas Partey (when fit). Jurrien Timber will also come into the reckoning once recovered from knee surgery.

As such, Cedric has seen his career stall in north London and the Portuguese veteran has racked up just two appearances this season, neither of which came in the Premier League.

Cedric’s current contract is due to expire in the summer and Arsenal have no plans to offer an extension.

A winter window sale – even if for a nominal fee – would therefore have suited the Gunners down to the ground.

Now, according to Portuguese outlet Record (as cited by Sport Witness), Cedric turned his nose up at the idea of joining Benfica.

The report states exploratory talks over a switch to the Portuguese giant did take place in the latter stages of the window.

However, Cedric let it be known he wants a lucrative contract that at age 32, may prove to be his final deal in football.

Benfica, Galatasaray routes close; all eyes on the summer

The Evening Standard stated Cedric earns £70,000-a-week at the Emirates. Portuguese clubs – even those the size of Benfica – are incapable of paying those sorts of wages, not least for fading forces like Cedric.

As such, a return to the Primeira Liga with Benfica quickly fell through.

There had also been talk of a potential switch ton Turkey. What’s more, the Turkish winter window doesn’t close until February 9, meaning a sale is still technically possible.

However, the primary club to show interest was Galatasaray and they recently announced the arrival of Serge Aurier from Nottingham Forest.

Galatasaray were seeking a replacement for Sacha Boey who was sold to Bayern Munich. With Aurier pouched it would be a huge surprise if Galatasaray reignited a late move for Cedric too, especially given his high salary demands.

The final outcome will likely be Cedric remaining in north London for the final months of his deal before becoming a free agent at season’s end.

Cedric will then be free to negotiate with a broader spectrum of clubs and adding a healthy sign-on fee into the mix, may succeed in getting that final big payday to see out his career.

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