Spaniard in London to complete £7.5m Arsenal move as Arteta closes-in on first signing

By on January 25, 2020

According to the Daily Mail, Pablo Mari is in London to undergo his medical and finalise a move to Arsenal after a £7.5m deal was agreed to sign the defender from Flamengo.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bring in defensive reinforcements this month as Arsenal have continued to be a shambles at the back throughout the campaign.

Calum Chambers won’t play again this season after suffering a knee ligament injury, Dinos Mavropanos has been loaned to Nurnberg while Shkodran Mustafi proved yet again why he shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team following his error against Chelsea.

We badly need another central defender to help us during the second half of the season and Mykola Matviyenko has been linked in recent days but Shakhtar Donetsk are reportedly wanting around £30m for the Ukrainian international.

It appears Arsenal have looked elsewhere and Mari has now emerged as the man we’ve gone for as the Daily Mail are one of several news outlets reporting that he’s in London to undergo his medical ahead of a move from Flamengo.

The 26-year-old was videoed arriving at Heathrow Airport with Arsenal technical director Edu on Saturday afternoon and he confirmed the move was on after telling Goal journalist Charles Watts he was looking forward to joining Arsenal.

Sky Sports News are one of several media outlet claiming Arsenal will sign Mari on an initial loan with a view to making it permanent in the summer. However, the Daily Mail suggests it will be a permanent deal THIS month after Arsenal agreed a £7.5m fee with Flamengo.

Quotes have been circulating on social media attributed to the Flamengo president and he says it will be a permanent deal, but we can’t verify those comments right now. Either way, it looks like Mari is set to join Arsenal this month and he’ll become Arteta’s first signing since he arrived as manager in December.

The Spaniard joined Manchester City in 2016 but failed to make a first team appearance and spent time on loan at Girona, NAC Breda and Alaves before joining Flamengo for £1m last summer.

The 6ft 3ins centre back has been a great success in Brazil as he helped Flamengo win the Brazilian League and Copa Libertadores before narrowly losing to Liverpool in the World Club Championship final last month.

Mari is left-footed and plays on the left side of two centre-backs so he should add some balance to our back four – although it will be interesting to see who he plays alongside if Arteta sees him as a first team regular.

Obviously he’s not a huge house-hold name but he isn’t exactly ‘one for the future’ as he turns 27 this year, so you’d expect him to be pushing for the first team relatively quickly – especially with how bad we’ve been at the back.