Premier League • England

Trio in line to leave Arsenal as interest develops, with Chelsea decision to be mirrored in one decision

Mohamed Elneny, Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares

Arsenal could sell Mohamed Elneny, Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares

Arsenal are ready to clear space in their squad by finding new clubs for Mohamed Elneny, Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares, a report has explained.

If they are to add any high-calibre players to their title-challenging squad this month, Arsenal will need to balance the books first. With that in mind, the Evening Standard has put the futures of Elneny and Cedric into doubt.

Both are due to become free agents at the end of the season anyway, but Arsenal could take their last chance to cash in on the full-back and the midfielder.

The list of clubs interested in Cedric includes Besiktas, Trabzonspor and Villarreal. Meanwhile, Elneny‘s admirers consist of Trabzonspor (as well), Al-Shabab and Al Fateh.

There is also interest developing in Tavares, who is spending the season away from Arsenal and on loan at Nottingham Forest.

However, gametime has been limited for the left-back, which may prompt Arsenal to terminate his spell at the City Ground.

It would mirror a similar decision Chelsea are preparing for their midfielder Andrey Santos, who similarly has not been given many opportunities by Forest during his loan spell.

It is also not the only loan Arsenal could terminate after rumours that Nantes could send Marquinhos back to them.

In Tavares’s case, the report claims there are European clubs waiting for their chance to sign the former Benfica product and Marseille loanee, without stating exactly which ones – or if it would be for another loan or a permanent sale.

Tavares is only under contract at the Emirates Stadium until the end of next season, so if Arsenal no longer think he is part of their long-term plans, they should probably look to sell him sooner rather than later.

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Arsenal could clear space by selling trio

Realistically, Arsenal might not be able to raise too much money by selling three fringe players like Elneny, Cedric and Tavares, but it would reduce their wage bill, which could be just as important in the long term.

Cedric, for instance, is said to take home £100,000 per week.

There were signs that the Portugal international’s future would lie away from Arsenal when they sent him on loan to Fulham around this time last year. Besides, he has barely featured since his return.

Meanwhile, it was not too long ago that Elneny was revealing his dreams of retiring at Arsenal, but he may quickly have to reconsider his plans.

After a previous loan spell with Besiktas, Trabzonspor could take him back to Turkey, or he could join a Saudi club like Al-Shabab or Slaven Bilic’s Al Fateh – either of whom seem more willing to wait until he becomes a free agent in the summer.

If Arsenal can get rid of the players in question, they might be able to slowly start developing plans to address other areas of need in their squad.

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