Arsenal have reportedly agreed a deal to sign 26-year-old Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on loan till the end of the season with an option to make it permanent.
As per an update from reputed journalist David Ornstein, Arsenal have reached an agreement with Brazilian giants Flamengo to sign 26-year-old defender Pablo Mari. The former Manchester City man will join the Gunners on loan initially till the end of the season, with an option to make the transfer permanent.
Pablo Mari had been heavily linked with a transfer to Arsenal in the ongoing transfer window as the North Londoners looked for reinforcements at the back, following Calum Chambers’s season-ending knee injury.
Arsenal agree deal with Flamengo to sign 26y Spaniard Pablo Mari on loan + option to buy. Fulfils Arteta request for left-footed centre-back. #AFC could make 1 more loan signing before deadline. Indication is Mustafi has ankle sprain so not as serious as 1st feared @TheAthleticUk
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 29, 2020
Shkodran Mustafi was stretchered off in the Gunners’ last game, which only increased the need of signing a new centre-back at the club. Ornstein has claimed the German’s injury isn’t as serious as feared earlier, but manager Mikel Arteta was keen on bringing in a left-footed centre-back this month.
Arsenal were believed to be close to signing Pablo Mari last week, with the Spaniard arriving in London to complete a medical. However, the transfer was believed to have fallen through after the Gunners changed the terms of the deal at the last moment, with the defender returning to Brazil to join up with Flamengo’s pre-season camp.
The two teams remained in negotiations though, and as per the latest update from David Ornstein, they have been able to arrive at an agreement, according to which Arsenal will sign Pablo Mari on loan till the end of the season with an option to buy.
Pablo Mari spent three years on the books of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester City between 2016 and 2019. And while he never featured for the Cityzens’ first-team, the Spaniard is understood to have a good relationship with Mikel Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant during the time.
Pablo Mari joined Flamengo only in July last year, but quickly became an integral player in the squad, playing important roles in the Brazilian outfit’s league success as well as their Copa Libertadores triumph. The 26-year-old was also part of the Flamengo outfit that lost to Liverpool in the Club World Cup final in December last year.
Pablo Mari’s imminent arrival will be the first signing for Arsenal in the Arteta era. And Ornstein goes on to add that the Gunners might look to add another player on loan before the transfer window slams shut on Friday.