It’s deadline day! At least sort of a deadline day but this time the focus is solely on players with expired contracts. Covid-19 effects on football go beyond empty stadiums and five substitutes, football has to deal with contractual agreements with players whose deals are expected to have expired. Regulatory authorities have been allowed till June 23rd to sort of contracts of players with expiry rate of June 30th. Arsenal has to reach agreements with players similar to deals reached by Spurs with Jan Vertonghen and Michel Vorm
In Arsenal’s case, the club needs to close extension deals with David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Dani Ceballos. David Luiz’s case has been the most spoken about in recent weeks given reports by Arsenal journalist Amy Lawrence writing for The Athletic
It cost up to £24 million to sign him for one season. This breaks down as an £8 million transfer fee to Chelsea, as much as £6 million to intermediaries to fix everything up, and the rest on the Brazilian defender’s £10 million-a-year salary.
Reports however that were roundly denied by David Luiz’s agent Kia Joorabchian
“They wrote the agent’s fee was £6m and the total cost of David was £24m, and there was an underlying tone that the deal was not correct. The agent’s fee was nowhere near £6m, it was less than ten per cent of that figure.”
David Luiz seems to have been affected by his contract situation with both his manager and the player making reference to the situation post his disastrous performance in the game against Manchester City post return of football.
In Pablo Mari’s case, signed from Flamengo during the January transfer window, injury and Covid-19 has restricted his appearances to just three for Arsenal. Whilst he has not been directly responsible for any calamity, the jury is still out on him being a strongman for what is an average Arsenal defence. Quizzed on if he would still be open to signing the player despite his current set back, Mikel Arteta stated
“Yes, this cannot be affected just because a player gets injured doing his job and defending our club.”
Arsenal reportedly paid Flamengo an initial loan fee of £4.25 million and would have to pay £8m – in several instalments – to secure his rights beyond this season. Reports had indicated from Brazil claimed that the club had agreed to activate the purchase option in Pablo Marí’s loan deal but Arsenal denied such claims as a final decision had not been reached. Where this leaves the club is yet to be seen given William Saliba’s arrival for the start of next season.
The situation only gets more curious with Cedric Soares, a player signed for loan fee of around £1m earning a weekly wage of £65,000. The club accepted to pay his full wage rather than arrange a shared structure with Southampton despite the player signing injured. The player is yet to feature for Arsenal is currently recovering from a facial injury that is expected to see him out for another two weeks. To get his deal through, Cedric would have to agree an extension to his current contract with Southampton before an agreement with Arsenal is reached.
Finally, Danny Ceballos signed at the start of the season from Real Madrid has played sixteen times for Arsenal this season and contributed with two assists. The player has been vocal about his desires to return to Spain with Real Betis and Valencia likely destinations if Real Madrid does not take up the option. The extension deal, however, seems likely to go smoothly with Arsenal given he is integral to Arteta’s plans especially with injuries to Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira.
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