Arsenal defender Cedric Soares is reportedly ‘set to join’ Fulham on loan until the summer and it is said that this deal will not include a ‘buy option’.
The 31-year-old has a lot of Premier League experience as he previously spent over four years at Southampton. He played over 100 times for them in the league.
Soares joined Arsenal on an initial loan deal at the start of 2020 and his move was made permanent on a free transfer later that year.
Given that he did not cost anything, the Portugal international has proven to be a successful addition as he has been a useful squad player over the past couple of seasons.
He rotated with Takehiro Tomiyasu last term but he has fallen further down the pecking order this season following Ben White’s transition into a right-back.
This has limited Soares’ opportunities this campaign and he is now ‘set to join’ Fulham on loan until the summer, according to ESPN.
Marco Silva’s side ‘expect’ to complete the deal over the next couple of days. It is said that ‘negotiations have accelerated’ and a deal has now been ‘agreed in principle’.
Arsenal are keeping their options open with Soares as ‘no option or obligation’ to buy will be included as part of the loan deal.
The defender is out of contract in 2024 and his ‘future will be reviewed’ in the summer. Arsenal will presumably hope that Soares performs brilliantly until the summer so his value will increase.
Fulham ‘will cover his wages in full’ and it is indicated that he earns ‘close to £100,000 a week’ at Arsenal. This feels like a lot given his impact recently for the Gunners, but he has been a ‘priority signing’ for the Cottagers.
Soares will come in and provide competition for Kenny Tete, with Kevin Mbabu barely featuring for Fulham since his summer move to the club.
Mbabu could in turn move away from Fulham, with Manchester United reportedly plotting a surprise January move. He is understood to be being considered in case Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaves.
Ex-United player Paul Parker thinks Mbabu could be a “starting player” for the Red Devils.
“Erik ten Hag might think that Diogo Dalot doesn’t fit into his style of playing even though he has done really well this season. But I think the club is bringing Mbabu in to be a starting player,” Parker told wettbasis.
“Obviously, Kevin Mbabu hasn’t been a key player for Fulham since he arrived from Wolfsburg. But I trust Erik ten Hag when it comes to signing players. He has proved that his track record is really good, so I would give him a warm welcome at the club.
“He was very good in Wolfsburg. He is quick and strong, so he has the physical abilities to be a good full-back. Erik ten Hag also knows him from the Bundesliga, which is a very good sign.”