Brazilian outfit Flamengo have confirmed that Arsenal have exercised the option to sign Pablo Mari on a permanent transfer.
Flamengo vice-president Marcos Braz says that Arsenal will buy the defender after a successful loan at The Emirates.
The 26-year-old Spanish centre-back joined the Gunners on loan in January with reported £14million purchase option included in the deal.
Mari helped Arsenal to victories over Portsmouth and West Ham, keeping clean sheets in both games before being injured last week.
He was forced off with an ankle injury against Manchester City last week and he is expected to be out for the remainder of the season and is set to undergo surgery.
He has though impressed Mikel Arteta and Braz says Arsenal have sorted out a permanent deal.
“Pablo Mari was sold, in fact. There is no doubt about it,” Braz said in a news conference, relayed by ESPN. “We know that he suffered a serious injury, but that matter is already resolved and when the right moment comes, the numbers will come out on the club’s balance sheets.”
Arsenal had an option to sign Mari on a permanent basis this summer and there was no doubt where the player saw his long-term future when he spoke in March.
Asked if he was keen to stay beyond his loan, Mari replied: “Yes, of course.
“I am so happy here. I am going to try and do my best until the end of the season.
“I hope also the club is happy with me and then we are going to find a good end (of the season) for everybody.
“I want to play a lot of years here with Arsenal. It is another situation and I am really happy now.”