Arsenal Closing in on Deal For Southampton Full-Back Cedric Soares

​Arsenal are closing in on their second arrival of the January transfer window, with a move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares nearing completion.

Mikel Arteta has placed defensive additions high on his list of priorities this month after a combination of injuries and suspensions have left him light in terms of options for the rest of the campaign.

The Gunners already secured the first signing of Arteta's reign earlier on Wednesday, after ​confirming a season-long loan deal for Pablo Mari that contains an option to buy in the summer.

However, Arteta appears not to be finished there, and is also on the lookout for cover at right-back. At present, Hector Bellerin remains the only recognised senior player for the position, although Ainsley Maitland-Niles has filled in for almost a year.

It appears ​Arsenal have set their sights on the Saints' Cedric Soares. According to ​Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports, among others, a deal for the 28-year-old defender is edging nearer for a cut-price deal, with the Portuguese's contract expiring in the summer.

News of a potential ​transfer came about as early as Tuesday, and while no fee has been mentioned by Sky Sports, the ​Mail claim the move could cost the north London outfit in the region of £5m plus add-ons.

Cedric has been at Southampton since 2015, and has made 134 appearances for the club. Last season, he spent the second half of the season on loan at Inter, but failed to establish himself in the starting lineup, only managing nine appearances in all competitions.

No length of any potential contract has been touted, but Cedric offers Arteta flexibility in the full-back role as he is capable of playing on both sides of the defence, and could link up with the Gunners in time for Sunday's Premier League clash with Burnley.

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Source : 90min