Arsenal have reportedly seen their deal to land former Manchester City defender Pablo Mari from Flamengo collapse at the final moment.
As per a report from ESPN Brasil, Arsenal are set to taste defeat in their pursuit of Flamengo centre-back Pablo Mari, as negotiations between the two clubs have broken down.
Arsenal are in the market for a new centre-back following the season-ending injury to Calum Chambers. Their concerns have increased after Shkodran Mustafi succumbed to a serious-looking injury against Bournemouth on Monday night in the FA Cup, leaving Mikel Arteta with Sokratis, Rob Holding and David Luiz as his only options at the heart of the defence.
Reports last week had claimed that the Gunners were closing in on securing the signing of Pablo Mari from Flamengo. The Spaniard is known to manager Arteta, having spent three years at Manchester City between 2016 and 2019, although he never featured for the Cityzens’ first-team.
The 26-year-old spent much of his time with City out on loan and had stints at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna, before he signed for Flamengo in July last year. Since signing for the Brazilian giants, Pablo Mari has grown into a key member of the team, helping them to league success as well as Copa Libertadores triumph.
Pablo Mari was in London this past weekend to undergo a medical and finalise the transfer to Arsenal. It is believed that the 26-year-old defender had completed his medical and was poised to sign a contract, but a hitch in the final minute has put the deal in jeopardy as Arsenal changed the terms of the transfer at the last moment.
Speaking of the breakdown in negotiations a director from Flamengo said, “We expect him at Ninho do Urubu this afternoon (to start pre-season). We had agreed to sell him for a fee, he arrived in London, Arsenal changed (the terms). Flamengo is a serious club.”
This is set to come as a major blow to Arsenal, who were in urgent need of defensive reinforcements. While Pablo Mari might not have been a well-known name, the former Manchester City defender would have added some much-needed depth to the squad. With so little time left in the transfer window, the Gunners must now act fast to secure alternate targets at the earliest.