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Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal are planning on signing Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares on permanent deals.
Mari signed on loan from Flamengo in January and Soares arrived soon after from Southampton until the end of the season.
Both have struggled with injuries since joining, with Mari currently facing two to three months out with an ankle injury he sustained against Manchester City last week.
Indeed, Soares has yet to even play a game since his moved. The Portugal international 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.
For that to happen, Arsenal need to strike a short-term agreement before midnight tonight with the player and Southampton which would allow him to see out the campaign with Arsenal before signing permanently.
The deal for Mari is not under the same time constraints, however, due to his injury, but Arteta is still hopeful that the transfer will be wrapped up soon.
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 permanentfor a further figure of£8m ($9.9m) paid in several instalments.
“We’ve been trying to get the deal done because we are happy with what Pablo can bring to us,” Arteta said ahead of Thursday night’s trip to Southampton.
“The club were trying to finalise the deal and I think the club will announce that as quick as possible when everything is sorted.
“I think there was some legal issues there to get done, but our intention still is to keep him.”
On Soares, Arsenal’s head coach added: “That was the plan from the start to sign him permanently, but he’s been so, so unlucky.
“He was injured when he joined, then he had a fracture in his nose. He hasn’t played at all for us.
“But we think he is a player who will improve and help the squad depth so hopefully we can do it as well.”
Arteta is also hopeful thatshort-term contracts with David Luiz and Dani Ceballos will be signed before tonight’s deadline which will allow both players to stay for the final five weeks of the season.
Luiz's Arsenalcontract expires on June 30 while Ceballos is currently due to return to Real Madrid at the end of the month.
Both, however, are expected to stick around.
“It is very complicated,” said Arteta. “The timing of it and some of the legal issues that are involved with that.
“The club is trying to finalise everything in the next few hours. We have no choice, we have to do it - and even more with the injuries we’ve had.
“So we are trying to resolve this. I am confident that we can do it. I hope so.”