Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed Cedric Soares has the green light to leave this January amid reports the defender is close to joining Arsenal.
Kyle Walker-Peters joined Southampton on Wednesday, with the Tottenham full-back moving on loan for the rest of the season.
Asked if signing Walker-Peters frees Soares’ move away, Hasenhuttl said: “From our side yes.”
Soares is reportedly close to joining Arsenal on an initial loan deal which would allow Mikel Arteta to consider signing him permanently in the summer.
Hasenhuttl added: “The fact is that he’s out of contract in the summer. He is injured at the moment so it will take three or four weeks until he can play again.
“We had a good meeting two days ago. We didn’t speak about that. I was very positive with his development of his game in our shape, I could also imagine going longer with him but sometimes things change quickly in football.
“For the club and for him it’s best and we say ‘Okay, if you want to leave, you only have two or three months on your contract and it’s better to go and we are concentrating on developing other players.”
Walker-Peters made just 24 senior appearances for Spurs, including five this season, while Soares has been a Southampton regular since joining in 2015.
However, with 28-year-old Soares’ contract expiring in the summer, Hasenhuttl explained it is Southampton’s philosophy to turn to youth.
“This is our way, this is our philosophy,” he said. “We went this way for more than a year and see young players developing well. We have a few bright diamonds in our youth and we will have a lot of fun with them in the future and Kyle Walker-Peters can be one of them.”