Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has now given Cedric Soares a green light to leave north London in the transfer market after Villarreal expressed their interest in his availability.

That is according to the Daily Mail, which reports that Villarreal have made an enquiry about Cedric’s future at Arsenal. The 31-year-old returned to Emirates Stadium this summer after a disappointing loan spell at Fulham. He is also now in the last year of the defender’s contract.

Cedric headed for Craven Cottage at the eleventh hour of the January window to join Marco Silva’s impressive Cottagers side. Fulham sat seventh in the Premier League standings when the right-back arrived. But he only featured in six games and started in two for 195 minutes.

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Arsenal boss Arteta gives Cedric permission to secure a transfer

Silva chose to leave Cedric on his bench for nine of a potential 15 top-flight fixtures after the 34-cap Portugal international switched north for west London. Now, Cedric has an uncertain future at Arsenal as Arteta feels he has enough options at right-back without him next term.

Ben White proved himself to be Arsenal’s first-choice at right-back last season with Takehiro Tomiyasu providing cover. Jurrien Timber has also now joined Arsenal from AFC Ajax to offer Arteta another option at right and centre-back. So, Cedric will face being left out in the cold.

Villarreal are interested in a transfer for Cedric should Arsenal’s demands match what the La Liga side can afford. A return to Portugal may also be on the cards for the Singen, Germany-born defender. He has not played in Portugal since he left Sporting Lisbon back in July 2015.

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Villarreal register an interest with multiple clubs tracking Cedric

Villarreal are only the latest team to register an interest with Arsenal in a transfer for Cedric, though. Sport had cited El Submarino Amarillo’s admiration of the defender earlier in July. It also noted that Sporting had already sounded out the Gunners’ demands for his return, too.

Additionally, Benfica and FC Porto plus sides in the Premier League had approached Arsenal to discuss Cedric’s future. The £75k-a-week defender, who Gilberto Silva has described as ‘fantastic’, has various suitors having made 164 career Premier League appearances to date.

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