Premier League • England

Arteta sanctions exit for his first signing with Arsenal pair in transfer ‘talks’

Pablo Mari hugs Mikel Arteta after an Arsenal win, 2020

Arsenal defenders Saed Kolasinac and Pablo Mari have moved closer to exits at The Emirates, according to reports.

Kolasinac has made just two appearances in the Premier League this season. The 28-year-old has not features since the end of October. But his claims have not been helped by ankle injury he picked up on international duty. Kolasinac picked up the injury in a World Cup qualifier with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Kolasinac was carried off after a terrible challenge leading to a red card from Finland’s Jukka Raitala. The club described the injury as “significant” and expected him to return to training this month.

Now Sky Sports claim Marseille are in talks with Kolasinac’s representatives over a pre-contract agreement.

Napoli also interested in the player, who is free to speak to foreign clubs.

Kolasinac, who was an Arsene Wenger signing in June 2017, is out of contract in the summer.

Meanwhile, fellow Gunners defender Mari is also closing in on a move away.

Sky in Italy are reporting that Serie A side Udinese are in talks with the Gunners over a loan deal.

Mari, 28, who is under contract until 2024, is thought to be looking for more game time. And the club and Mikel Arteta “are sympathetic to” to the player’s demands.

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Pablo Mari was Arteta’s first signing

Arteta started the Spanish defender in the first two Premier League games of the season. But he has not been seen in the league since and in fact has only appeared once since then – against AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Cup in September.


Arsenal have had Mari on the books since January 2020, when he joined on loan from Flamengo. He was in fact Arteta’s first signing after taking over as Arsenal head coach in December 2019. And the Spaniard decided to make the deal permanent in the following summer, despite only playing three times.

Earlier this week, according to Goal Brasil, Mari had been offered to three clubs.

Goal named the clubs he has been proposed to as AC Milan, Sampdoria and Valencia.

Rumours of a return to Flamengo continue, but it’s thought Mari would prefer to stay in Europe and Udinese now appear to be the frontrunners.

READ MORE: Arsenal talks for Serie A star advance as squad issues become apparent