Arsenal centre-back David Luiz has agreed a new one-year deal to end all the uncertainty over the Brazilian.
The 33-year-old’s contract was due to expire on June 30, having joined the Gunners last summer from Chelsea on an initial 12-month deal.
His future has been one of much contention. Luiz endured a horror show in the Gunners’ first match back last Wednesday night.
The centre-half was at fault for Man City’s opener, then gave away a penalty and got sent off. All despite starting the match as a substitute.
Luiz’s display left pundits and fans fuming, but Mikel Arteta took a more measured approach.
The Spaniard offered backing to the defender, and recently offered non-footballing reasons why the club may seek to offer Luiz the second year on his contract option.
That has now come to pass with Arsenal and Luiz agreeing a one-year extension to his stay.
Arsenal have also moved to make the temporary moves of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares into permanent arrangements.
Brazilian outfit Flamengo confirmed on Tuesday that Arsenal have exercised the option to sign Mari on a permanent basis. The deal will cost the Gunners £14m and the 26-year-old is reported to have agreed a four-year deal.
That’s also the length of contract that Soares is thought to have signed too. The Portuguese right-back, 29 in August, joined in January from Southampton.
Despite being yet to play for Arsenal, the Gunners have opted to give him a four-year deal to summer 2024.
Technical director Edu told the club’s website: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan (head coach) Mikel (Arteta) and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.
“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.”
Edu continued: “With Pablo we’re all disappointed he got injured at Manchester City. Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed.
“We were really pleased with Pablo – his behaviour, the way he is training, his mentality and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course we are really happy to keep him for the future.
“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position.
“We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”
The Gunners have also extended Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid until the end of the 2019-20 season.
Aubameyang rejects Arsenal deal
The Gunners, however, look like facing a losing fight to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. According to a report, the striker has rejected Arsenal’s offer of a new contract and is “fascinated” by the prospect of joining Antonio Conte at Inter.
FCInterNews claims the striker has rejected the proposal from the north London side, which would have offered him the same terms amid Arteta’s plans to rebuild his side.
The source says Arsenal‘s project has not convinced Aubameyang, who wants to compete at the highest level.
As such, the prospect of joining Inter Milan in Serie reportedly “fascinates and intrigues” the Gabon international.
Antonio Conte has persuaded former Premier League stars Christian Eriksen, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young to Italy in the past 12 months and hopes he can do the same with Aubameyang.
Inter’s move for the attacker hinges, however, on the sale of Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona.