David Luiz agrees shock new contract to remain at Arsenal for another YEAR – as team-mate Cedric Soares pens FOUR-year deal and Pablo Mari joins in a £14m permanent transfer.
Arsenal have activated option of a further 12 months on David Luiz’s contract
The Brazilian defender’s existing deal was due to expire on June 30
Clubs had until midnight on Tuesday to finalise short-term extensions
Cedric Soares has made his Southampton deal permanent with four-year deal
Injured defender has also joined on a permanent deal from Flamengo.
David Luiz has agreed a shock new one-year contract with Arsenal.
Team-mate Cedric Soares has also agreed a four year contract after making his loan from Southampton permanent.
Brazilian centre-back Luiz drew heavy criticism for his error strewn cameo performance against Manchester City last week which saw him sent off after 26 minutes and left his side careering to a 3-0 defeat.
Luiz apologised but many critics believed the display would signal the end of his Arsenal career with his deal, worth around £120,000 a week, due to expire on June 30.
Clubs had until Tuesday night to finalise short-term extensions to run to the end of this season. However, Arsenal decided to finalise a longer deal for Luiz to keep him until 2021.
Mikel Arteta has stood by the erratic 33-year-old and right-back Soares, who joined on loan in January but has yet to make an appearance. 28-year old Cedric Soares has been hindered by knee ligament and facial injuries but Arteta has been impressed by the attitude of both players in training and believes they can make more telling contributions to his first team plans going forward.
Defender Pablo Mari, who is out for up to four months with ankle ligament damage, has also joined on a permanent deal from Flamengo.
As Sportsmail reported at the weekend, the fee for the 26-year old Spaniard is around £14m.
Meanwhile, Arteta is open to offloading Matteo Guendouzi as his frustration mounts over the midfielder’s antics. The manager caught his French midfielder on camera acting up during training.
Guendouzi clashed with Neal Maupay after Arsenal’s defeat at Brighton on Saturday when the Albion striker accused his countryman of lacking humility for things he said during the game.
Sportsmail revealed that Guendouzi taunted Maupay about how much he and Arsenal’s players earned compared to Brighton’s.
The incident is the latest that has led to questions about Guendouzi’s attitude, a situation that Arteta, who is trying to change the culture at Arsenal, has been left unimpressed by.
Sportsmail understands Arteta had the Frenchman’s card marked from early in his reign when he saw Guendouzi acting up while re-watching training footage. While Arteta’s back was turned, a distracted Guendouzi could be seen messing about, sometimes doing ‘silly dances’ at a time when the manager wanted full focus from his players.
Guendouzi started just two of Arteta’s first 10 league games. Some team-mates have also taken a dim view of some of his antics.
Meanwhile, striker Gabriel Martinelli is facing ‘months’ out after suffering a knee cartilage injury in training on Sunday.
In a more positive injury update, goalkeeper Bernd Leno escaped serious cruciate ligament damage when he clashed with Maupay, suffering a sprain in his right knee which will keep him out for four to six weeks.