Luiz given one-year Arsenal contract extension as Cedric & Mari complete permanent deals

Arsenal have announced David Luiz has signed a one-year contract extension with the club, while loanees Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari have penned permanent deals with the club.

Veteran defender Luiz's deal with Arsenal was set to expire at the end of the month, and there had been doubts about whether the club would want to keep him following a series of erratic performances, including being sent off 25 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Manchester City last week.

However the 33-year-old's experience - plus the lack of viable alternatives amid the coronavirus pandemic - has seen Arsenal move to keep him at the club.

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As well as Luiz, Arsenal have moved to sign right-back Cedric on a permanent deal from Premier League rivals Southampton, while central defender Mari joins on a full-time basis from Flamengo.

The deals, described by Arsenal as "long-term", are understood by Goal to be four-year contracts for both players.

Both players have been signed permanently despite having injury issues - Cedric has not yet made his Arsenal debut because of a series of setbacks, while Mari suffered a serious ankle injury against Man City which is set to keep him out for the remainder of this season.

Cedric was suffering with a knee injury when he arrived and didn’t feature before lockdown. He was subsequently hit by a ball in training just ahead of the restart and needed to undergo a small procedure on his nose. He has now recovered, however, and is aiming to be available for Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Sheffield United.

No transfer fee was revealed for either player, however, for Mari, when Arsenal paid Flamengo an initial loan fee of £4.25 million ($5.5m) to take the 26-year-old in January, it was a deal that included an option to make the move permanent for a further figure of £8m ($9.9m) paid in several instalments.

Attacking midfielder Dani Ceballos, on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid this season, has also seen his temporary deal extended until the end of the 2019-20 campaign, with coronavirus forcing the Premier League to continue beyond June 30.

Arsenal technical director Edu told the club website : “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.
“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.

“With Pablo we’re all disappointed he got injured at Manchester City. Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed. We were really pleased with Pablo - his behaviour, the way he is training, his mentality and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course we are really happy to keep him for the future.
“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position. We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”

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