Arsenal to agree contract extensions for four stars

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is confident the club will wrap up short-term deals for Cedric Soares, Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Pablo Mari before tonight’s deadline of midnight.

Premier League sides have until midnight tonight to agree short-term contract extensions with players whose deals expire at the end of June.

Arsenal have four players who fall into that category – with Ceballos, Cedric and Mari’s loan deals expiring then and Luiz’s contract ending on June 30 too.

The club are still working to conclude talks with all players, but Arteta is confident everything will get done in time.

“It is very complicated, the timing of it and some of the legal issues that are involved with that,” he said.

“The club is trying to finalise everything in the next few hours. We have no choice, we have to do it – and even more with the injuries we’ve had.

“So we are trying to resolve this. I am confident that we can do it. I hope so.”

Arsenal are hoping to eventually make Mari’s deal permanent after signing the defender on loan from Brazilian club Flamengo.

The club parted with around £4m to bring him in during the January window and it is thought he may cost an additional £8m now.

“We’ve been trying to get the deal done because we are happy with what Pablo can bring to us,” said Arteta. “The club were trying to finalise the deal and I think the club will announce that as quick as possible when everything is sorted.

“I think there was some legal issues there to get done, but our intention still is to keep him.”

The expectation is Luiz will sign a short-term contract extension to cover him until the end of the campaign. Cedric is expected to do the same with Southampton, before extending his loan at Arsenal – who want to make his stay permanent.

The right-back’s contract with Saints expires on June 30, but he has yet to kick a ball for the Gunners due to injury.

“It was the plan from the start [to sign Cedric permanently],” said Arteta.

“He’s been so, so unlucky because he was injured when he joined and then he had a fracture in his nose. He hasn’t played at all for us, but again, we think he’s a player that will improve and will help the squad depth. Hopefully we can do it.”

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