Pablo Mari is on the verge of a move to Arsenal after the Spanish defender flew into London to complete the formalities of a £7million switch from Flamengo.
Mikel Arteta had earmarked the signing of a new centre-half this month as a priority and the club’s technical director has since sounded out a few potential new arrivals.
Arsenal had held talks with Bayern Munich over a possible deal for Jerome Boateng, but talks stalled once the Bundesliga giants named their terms and then were halted once they decided to take the player off the market.
The Gunners also asked RB Leipzig about a possible deal for Dayot Upamecano, but were set back when learning of his price tag.
However, GloboEsporte claims the Gunners have finally had a breakthrough after agreeing a fee of just £7million for former Man City man Mari.
The Brazilian outlet claims Edu has worked a miracle in convincing Flamengo – beaten by Liverpool in the Club World Cup final last month – to sell one of their most important players for just £7million.
As per the report, Mari will fly into London this weekend, arriving Saturday lunch, for talks and a medical with the signing set to be rubber-stamped before the window shuts next Friday.
The 26-year-old left City in summer 2019 for just £1m having had loan spells at Girona, NAC and Deportivo La Coruna. Well known to Arteta, Mari left the Etihad without having made a first-team appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side.
However, he has since gone on to establish himself at Flamengo and underlined his abilities as one of the Brazilian league’s best centre-halves, becoming the first Spaniard to win the Copa Libertadores.
As per the report, however, Flamengo could not resist the urge to make an instant 600% profit on a player they had only bought in July.
Arsenal’s defensive has come in for plenty of criticism of late with David Luiz being sent off during the midweek draw at Chelsea after a mistake by the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi.
And with the Brazilian Luiz now suspended, Sokratis having been out of action with illness and Calum Chambers picking up a season-ending ACL injury, Mari will likely be employed very rapidly by Arteta in the Arsenal side once his signing is confirmed.
News of the imminent signing of Mari comes after Arsenal’s hopes of signing Paris Saint-Germain defender Layvin Kurzawa went cold.
However, Goal now reports that Kurzawa is on the brink of agreeing a switch to Juventus with the two clubs on the brink of an agreement which would see Mattia De Sciglio move in the opposite direction.
PSG’s demand of a fee of £7million to sign Kurzawa now put Arsenal off, given he was able to move on a free transfer at the end of the season; hence the club instead turning their attention to Mari.