Soccer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confident of agreeing four deals before contract deadline

Mikel Arteta says he is confident Arsenal will seal contract extensions for David Luiz, Cedric, Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari before the midnight deadline.

Premier League clubs have until midnight to decide whether they will keep hold of players, whose deals expire at the end of the month.

Arsenal have four players in this category, all with different circumstances.

Luiz has had an error-prone season but retained the trust of Arteta, who has made clear that he wants the Brazilian defender to stay.

Luiz earns around £120,000-a-week and it has been a major burden on the wage bill.

Cedric joined Arsenal on loan from Southampton in January and arrived nursing an injury.

The Portuguese was aiming to be ready for the Premier League restart but suffered a facial injury in training and faces a race to make an appearance before the season concludes.

Ceballos has enjoyed an indifferent season on loan from Real Madrid and while he insists his future lies at the Bernabeu, Arteta has been happy with the Spaniard’s contribution.

And Mari had established himself in the starting XI after arriving on loan from Flamengo but his campaign was cut short last week when he sustained an ankle injury against Manchester City.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s clash with Southampton, Arteta was pressed on the contractual situation at Arsenal and said: “It’s very complicated with the timing of it and some of the legal issues that are involved with that.

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

“We are trying to resolve this. I’m confident that we can do it. I hope so.”

Arteta then opened up on Arsenal’s financial situation which is set to be heavily limited this summer.

He said: “At the moment, just to predict what is going to happen in the transfer window is impossible.

“You can see one or two clubs doing these sorts of deals, but the rest is really, really quiet.

“As I told you, we have to assess the financial situation that we have, and as well the results and where we finish in the season will dictate whether we have a narrow gap or a bigger gap to do any deals.

“I think we are going to have to wait another four to six weeks to see what we are able to do.”

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