Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Flamengo centre-back Pablo Mari on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy, according to reliable journalist David Ornstein.
The Gunners have been on the hunt for a new defender for some time, with Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz coming in for criticism for their roles in Arsenal’s shaky defence this season.
The likes of Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng have been mentioned as potential additions, but Mari has been sounded out as a new target in the past few days.
According to Ornstein – via his Twitter account – the 26-year-old will arrive at the Emirates on a temporary basis at first.
Arsenal will, however, have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season, with Mari ticking a key box for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta as a left-footed centre-back.
Mari is well-known to Arteta having left Manchester City last summer following loan spells with Girona, NAC and Deportivo La Coruna. The Spaniard never made a first-team appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Ornstein also revealed that Arsenal could make another loan signing before the end of the transfer window.
The journalist then provided an update on the fitness of Mustafi, who left the field midway through Monday’s FA Cup defeat of Bournemouth with an ankle injury.
Arteta admitted that the initial signs about the German did not look good but Ornstein wrote that the defender suffered an ankle sprain and the injury is not as serious as first feared.
Arsenal’s next game sees them face Burnley at Turf Moor in Premier League action on Sunday.
In other news, the Gunners have reportedly agreed a deal for another defender, with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykola Matviyenko set to join before Friday’s transfer deadline.
It had been reported last week that Arteta had played a major role in Arsenal’s move for Matviyenko and recommended the 23-year-old to Manchester City during his time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.
Arteta has already seen Matviyenko’s ability, having watched him in action for Shakhtar against City in the Champions League group stages.