Arsenal extend Luiz’s contract; sign Mari, Soares on permanent deals

Arsenal defender David Luiz has signed a one-year contract extension, the English Premier League club said yesterday.

The Brazilian, 33, joined the Gunners last year from Chelsea on an initial 12-month deal. He was heavily criticised after being sent off in last week's 3-0 loss to Manchester City .

But Arsenal technical director Edu hailed Luiz's influence on and off the pitch.

Fellow defenders Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares would also be staying beyond this season on permanent contracts, after loan deals from Flamengo and Southampton respectively.

Midfielder Dani Ceballos' loan from Real Madrid also has been extended until the end of the 2019/20 season.

With off-the-pitch matters resolved, the Gunners will now look to get back to winning ways following losses to Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion since the EPL restart.

Arsenal, who are 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, face Southampton tomorrow morning (Singapore time) and manager Mikel Arteta expects a tough time against Ralph Hasenhuettl's "dangerous" side.

Arteta will have to make do without Luiz (suspended) and goalkeeper Bernd Leno (injured). - AFP, REUTERS