Four Arsenal stars can begin free transfer talks in January

Arsenal have four players who can agree a pre-contract agreement with a foreign team in January. Players can agree to a free transfer move from the start of the calendar year in which their contracts expire, which may potentially alter Mikel Arteta’s own transfer plans. Express Sport looks at who might leave…

Cedric Soares

Defender Cedric was signed in January 2020 as a back-up. The experienced Portugal international initially featured prominently under Arteta but has since failed to find regular football at the Emirates Stadium.

The 32-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham. He has not played in the Premier League for Arsenal since November 2022.

It seems unlikely that Cedric will be offered a new contract by the north Londoners, making him a free agent next summer. Several clubs will likely be interested in a possible move, hoping to secure a free transfer for the end of the campaign.

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Alex Runarsson

Another player signed to play second-fiddle at Arsenal, Icelandic goalkeeper Alex Runarsson failed to displace Bernd Leno and was subsequently the No 2 to Aaron Ramsdale. David Raya’s addition last summer pushed the 28-year-old even further down the pecking order.

Runarsson joined Cardiff on loan in search of regular football. However, he has played just once in the Championship, with former Tottenham youngster Jak Alnwick preferred.

A departure next summer seems the most likely option for Runarsson, who has played only six times for Arsenal since joining in the summer of 2020.

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Mohamed Elneny

Long-serving Mohamed Elneny could finally depart Arsenal at the end of the season. The Gunners offered the Egyptian a one-year extension to remain at the end of last term, with the experienced star offering valuable experience to a young squad this year.

Turning 32 next July, Elneny might see the summer as his last opportunity to win a deal to play regularly elsewhere. He will still have a lot to offer a top-tier side.

Arthur Okonkwo

With so many goalkeepers ahead of him at Arsenal, Arthur Okonwko might see the summer as a chance to explore his options. The 22-year-old has been part of the Arsenal system for some time but is yet to make his senior debut, despite featuring in some pre-season friendlies.

Okonkwo was sent on loan to League Two, Hollywood-backed Wrexham in the summer following Ben Foster’s retirement. An impressive record has seen him keep five clean sheets in 10 appearances for the Welsh outfit.

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