Arsenal could make a handy £7.4m saving after they, Udinese and Pablo Mari are all pulling in the same direction over a summer transfer, per a report.
The centre-half, 28, was loaned out to Serie A side Udinese in January. The summer arrival of Ben White had ensured Mari’s path to minutes at the Emirates was blocked. What’s more, Takehiro Tomiyasu also signed and despite featuring mainly at right-back, his primary position is centre-back.
Since moving to Italy, Mari has found his groove and has established himself as a mainstay in Udinese’s rear-guard.
Indeed, after being an unused substitute for Udinese’s first match following his arrival, the Spaniard has started all but one of their subsequent league matches. The one fixture he missed was due to suspension.
When speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport earlier in April, Pablo Mari revealed his joy at the move and admitted he’d love to stay in Italy.
“When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,” said Mari.
“I told the coach and [Udinese owner] Gino Pozzo that I was coming to play. But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, workout after workout. [Coach] Cioffi was the first who welcomed me, well, here.
“It’s the right championship for me. Very tactical. I try to bring the attacker towards me.
“I really like having the ball and here it can be done and then there is the battle and I like having a battle on the pitch. I’d like to stay in Italy.”
Now, Football London report Mari could get his wish.
Udinese chief speaks on Pablo Mari transfer
They state that Udinese are pushing to sign the defender on a permanent basis this summer. Adding further fuel to the fire is the claim Arsenal are ‘keen on making a deal’ happen too.
Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino is also quoted after going on record to state his transfer plans.
“Mari is an Arsenal player,” said Marino. “It’s typical that a player like that comes to Udinese.
“Not because we don’t deserve him, but because in general the way is the opposite. It will be difficult to keep him but we will try.”
Pablo Mari won’t be coming back to Arsenal and will stay in Italy
Arsenal on loan defender Pablo Mari won’t return to Arsenal and wants to stay with Udinese in Italy
And with the player and both clubs all pulling in the same direction, a deal appears there for the making.
If a move does materialise, the report adds Arsenal could make a handy £7.4m saving.
That because of an appearance-based bonus clause that was inserted into Mari’s deal when signed from Flamengo.
At present, the Gunners are reportedly on the hook for €1m (£865,000) every time Mari makes 10 Premier League appearances for Arsenal.
The clause is apparently active up to 80 league appearances, with Mari’s current total sitting at 14.