Premier League • England

Arsenal monitoring Brazilian replacement as they decide to sell defender despite exit across Premier League stalling

Cedric Soares and Rob Holding of Arsenal

Arsenal are taking a look at Brazilian prospect Lucas Kawan, who plays as a right-back for Gremio, according to reports.

Kawan, 19, came into the Gremio first team in 2022. He has still only managed two appearances for them, but seems to already be catching the eye. Indeed, he has been called up by Brazil’s under-20 team already.

According to Brazilian source Band, Arsenal are now keeping an eye on Kawan’s development. Having focused heavily on youth in their recruitment in recent years, he could be the next piece of the puzzle to add as they construct a squad for the future.

To sign him, though, Arsenal will have to beat competition from the City Group. If Manchester City gain control of the player’s future, even via another club in their network, it would damage Arsenal’s chances of signing him in the future.

Gremio currently have Kawan under contract until the end of 2025. However, they may now be bracing themselves for interest in his services from Premier League clubs.

It is not yet clear how much Kawan might cost any of his suitors. The main information for now is that Arsenal’s scouts are watching him.

At right-back, Mikel Arteta can currently call upon Benjamin White, Takehiro Tomiyasu or Cedric Soares for Arsenal.

However, White is naturally a centre-back, although he has featured most prominently in the wider role this season. Besides, there have been exit murmurs regarding the two more natural full-backs in that part of their squad.

The rumours about Tomiyasu do not seem to be so concrete yet. As for Cedric, though, there have been strong claims that his time at the Emirates Stadium could be up.

The Portugal international has been linked with a move across London to fellow Premier League side Fulham.

However, the latest from the Evening Standard suggests Cedric’s wage demands have become an obstacle to the deal.

Cedric Soares must drop demands to secure Arsenal exit

Although Fulham are eager to add Cedric to their squad, they do not want to match the £65,000-per-week package he is currently on at Arsenal.

They are wary of taking too many risks in the transfer market, despite their promising first half of the season. That said, manager Marco Silva is keen for defensive reinforcements.

According to the report, Arsenal would be willing to sell Silva’s compatriot Cedric, who has only played four times this season and will be out of contract in 2024.

Now, it is over to Fulham to put together a package for the former Southampton man if they can meet any asking price Arsenal have. In fairness, their requests are likely to be minimal; the issue here is evidently on the player’s side.

But the 31-year-old must acknowledge he is not going to get many more opportunities at Arsenal. If he wants to enjoy some more playing time at this stage of his career, he might have to make a financial sacrifice to link up with Fulham.

Silva currently has Kenny Tete and Kevin Mbabu as right-backs in his Fulham squad. However, the latter has featured sparingly since joining from Wolfsburg, while Tete has encountered various injury issues.

Therefore, the move to Fulham might make sense for Cedric, so he should consider adjusting his demands. And once he is out of the door at Arsenal, it seems Arteta and Edu will be looking at a long-term prospect to fill his role.

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