Arsenal have already come to their decision on Pablo Mari and intend to make the defender’s loan move from Flamengo permanent this summer, according to reports.
Mari moved to North London in January but Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been reluctant to throw him into his team, with the Spanish defender’s only outing coming in an Under-23s clash last Monday.
The 26-year-old could make his senior Arsenal debut in Thursday’s second leg of the Europa League last 32 tie against Olympiacos, ahead of which the Gunners have a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
While Arteta is still mulling over whether to hand Mari his first action at The Emirates, Coluna do Fla claims that the manager has been much faster in deciding to trigger the option to buy in his loan contract.
The source claims that having already paid a £4million loan fee, the permanent deal will amount to £13.5million, with the £4million being taken off their final fee.
Mari earned plaudits from Arteta following his appearance for Arsenal’s Under-23s, the manager admitting that he was surprised at the player’s attitude and commitment.
“Well, I watched the game but I could not be there for a personal reason,” Arteta said.
“When he joined the club he hadn’t played for a long time and he had a little niggle as well when he joined us, but his attitude and commitment has been really, really good and highly surprising.
“He did really well the other day and hopefully we can start to use him soon.”
Arsenal face Olympiacos looking to build on the slim advantage handed to them by striker Alexandre Lacazette, who reports suggest has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if the Gunners fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Lacazette, however, has insisted that he is unaware of such a clause and that he intends to see out the remainder of his contract, which expires in 2021.