Mari travels to London
Arsenal looked to be closing in on their first signing of the Mikel Arteta era over the weekend.
The Evening Standard would report that the Gunners were close to signing Flamengo defender Pablo Mari.
The 26-year-old spent three years at Manchester City, where he didn’t feature once, and instead enjoyed several loan spells with the likes of Girona and Deportivo de La Coruna.
The centre-back would then join Flamengo in July of 2019 on a permanent transfer.
Mari, though, was then filmed in London on Saturday the 25th of January.
Goal’s Charles Watts would ask the Flamengo defender, who was in Heathrow Airport, if he is excited to sign for Arsenal, to which Mari responded:
“Ye, of course”
Pablo Mari has just arrived at Heathrow with Edu and he tell me he is excited to be joining Arsenal.
Medical to take place this weekend. pic.twitter.com/6VY1RM3wJL
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 25, 2020
Mari back in Brazil?
With Mari in London, stating that he is excited to join the north London outfit, the Arsenal faithful would likely have been expecting him to be announced as their player in the coming days, if not hours.
But on Monday the 27th of January, Arsenal’s deal for Mari looks to have hit a wall.
The Daily Mail ran a report, in which they claimed that Mari was back in Brazil after a late hitch.
The Mail also reported a Flamengo director stated that Arsenal had changed the terms of the deal:
“We expect him at Ninho do Urubu this afternoon (to start pre-season). We had agreed to sell him for a fee, he arrived in London, Arsenal changed (the terms). Flamengo is a serious club.”
However, despite Mari seemingly being back in Brazil, Arsenal fans shouldn’t lose hope of a deal being done.
Various reports, including one from Sky Sports News and one from Goal’s Charles Watts, claim that Arsenal are still in talks with Flamengo for Mari, and it was always the plan for the former Man City man to head back to Brazil.
Word from Arsenal is talks with Flamengo over the Mari deal still ongoing. He was always due to head back to Rio at the end of the weekend after his medical. As stated on Saturday, club working on initial loan – Flamengo we know want a permanent deal.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 27, 2020