Club insider reveals Arsenal talks with Brazil defender prior to Mari signing

Date published: Wednesday 25th March 2020 12:48

Sao Paulo’s executive manager has revealed that Arsenal chief Edu held talks with the Brazilian club about signing defender Walce in January.

Having taken over at The Emirates in December, upgrading the Gunners’ defence was boss Mikel Arteta‘s top priority with his side having come in for criticism in that area throughout the season.

After a month of chasing a left-footed centre-back, Pablo Mari was brought in from Flamengo on loan with an option to buy and Cedric Soares was also drafted in on loan from Southampton.

Speaking to Brazilian news outlet Lance, however, Alexandre Passaro revealed how Arsenal were in talks to bring Brazil Under-23 international Walce to North London before going for Mari.

In the end, Walce suffered a cruciate ligament injury and is expected to be out of action until September.

“Walce had a proposal from Red Bull Bragantino, which we denied,” Passaro said.

“Here I think I can even say that we had a conversation with Arsenal, exactly for the spot that went to Pablo Mari, we were talking to Edu Gaspar.

“[Walce] ended up getting hurt, which happens, we need to be prepared for that.”



As for Mari’s progress at Arsenal, the 26-year-old has made two appearances so far in an FA Cup win over Portsmouth and in the Premier League against West Ham.

In other news, Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli has outlined his hope of becoming a club legend at The Emirates.

The young forward has been loosely linked with a move away after a stunning breakthrough campaign with the Gunners, but he is paying no attention to such reports.

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