Arsenal still hopeful of making Pablo Mari a permanent signing with an option to buy for a fee believed to be £13.5m
Wednesday 24 June 2020 08:48, UK
David Luiz is close to signing a new one-year deal at Arsenal.
The Brazilian was due to be out of contract at the end of the June with Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta urging the club to extend his deal earlier this month.
Luiz attracted heavy criticism for disastrous cameo against Manchester City in Arsenal's first game of the restart, replacing the injured Pablo Mari after 24 minutes only to gift the hosts the lead moments later, and then give away a penalty and receive a red card shortly after half-time in the 3-0 defeat.
He initially moved to the Emirates on a one-year deal from Chelsea in 2019 - rather than the reported two-year contract - his agent Kia Joorabchian confirmed to Sky Sports News.
Arsenal are also still hopeful of making Pablo Mari a permanent signing with the club retaining an option to buy the defender for a fee believed to be £13.5m.
Vice-president of his parent club, Flamengo, Marcos Braz has been quoted as saying the deal is done, but Arteta maintains there are still some legal issues to overcome.
"We have been trying to get the deal done because we are happy with what Pablo can bring to us," Arteta said. "The club is trying to finalise the deal and they will announce that as quick as possible when it is sorted.
"There were some legal issues there to get done but our intention clearly is to keep him."
Mari has been ruled out the rest of the campaign with an ankle ligament injury he suffered against Man City last week.
Arteta also confirmed the club's intention to sign Cedric Soares on a permanent deal from Southampton, despite the 28-year-old not having played a single game for the club since arriving on loan in January due to injury.
"It was the plan from the start [to sign him permanently], he has been so, so unlucky. He was injured when he joined and then he had a fracture on his nose, he hasn't played at all for us," Arteta added.
"We think he is a player that will improve and help the squad's depth. Hopefully we can do it as well."
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was scathing after Luiz's display against Man City, saying the Brazilian should not be brought back into Arsenal's line up under any circumstances.
"After a performance like that, l don't see how Mikel Arteta can put him back in under any circumstances.
"It is unbelievable in some ways that he has kidded so many people in football," he added.
"There is only one manager who I can think of who has got the best from David Luiz and that is Antonio Conte when he played him in the middle of a back three.
"It is unbelievable in some ways that he has kidded so many people in football," added the Sky Sports pundit. "There is only one manager who I can think of who has got the best from David Luiz and that is Antonio Conte when he played him in the middle of a back three."