The Gunners have been heavily linked with bringing in defensive reinforcements during the January transfer window, but they are yet to complete a deal despite reported interest in Pablo Mari, Dayot Upamecano, Jerome Boateng and Layvin Kurzawa.
Injuries to the likes of Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac have forced Arteta to play Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as emergency full-backs on numerous occasions this season.
The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal have now made a £5m offer for Cedric in an attempt to solve their defensive shortage, with the Portugal international able to play on either side of the pitch.
The 28-year-old has been a key figure for Southampton this season, starting 16 Premier League games, but the Saints are understood to be on the verge of signing Kyle Walker-Peters on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
Cedric's contract at St Mary's also expires at the end of the campaign, meaning that they could be tempted into cashing in on the defender.