Arsenal complete signing of Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on six-month loan


Arsenal have finalized the signing of Pablo Mari from Flamengo on loan.

The deal for the 26-year-old Spaniard was confirmed on Wednesday with Mari arriving on a six-month loan worth around £ 4million. He will then join the club permanently this summer with other additions.

Flamengo gave him permission to return to London and announced on Tuesday evening that they had confirmed the signing of Athletico Paranaense defender Leo Pereira for £ 5.9million as a replacement.

Arsenal finalized signing of Flamengo’s Pablo Mari on six-month loan deal

The 26-year-old center-back poses in Arsenal's home strip after completing his move

Husband joins Gunners on six-month loan deal before move becomes permanent this summer

The 26-year-old poses in Arsenal’s home and away boards after completing his move

Gunners welcome Spaniard to London with red and white graphic on their website

Gunners welcome Spaniard to London with red and white graphic on their website

After finalizing the move, the Spaniard revealed he is delighted to join Emirates squad.

“When I spoke to my agent it was a big thing that Arsenal were interested in me,” Mari told the Arsenal website.

“He’s one of the best clubs in the world so I’m absolutely delighted to join him. I’m really looking forward to playing in this shirt and helping my team.

The move ends an embarrassing saga between the two clubs which saw the transfer almost collapse.

Mari had flown to London last Saturday with Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, and had only had his medical check-up for Flamengo to change his demands on the amount of money prepaid.

Mari was forced to return to Rio de Janeiro on Monday for the start of preseason training, but did not report as he pushed to revive his dream move.

But the change is now over.

“Right now I want to focus on the day-to-day side of things,” Mari added on Wednesday.

“I think we need to put the plans aside for now because the most important thing is to take things one day at a time and focus on achieving short term goals.

“We have to change the dynamic around the team, so short term goals are the most important thing. Like I said, we have Mikel’s ideas, aligned with the club, and we have to perform really well to make a difference.

Mari described Arsenal as 'one of the best clubs in the world' after finishing loan

The 26-year-old defender arrives with a first loan worth around £ 4million

Mari described Arsenal as ‘one of the best clubs in the world’ after finishing loan

Mari didn’t move to Flamengo until July but impressed during his short stay in South America.

“The time has come to say goodbye to this defender who arrived in Flamengo to mark our history with the titles of CONMEBOL Libertadores and the Brazilian championship. Pablo Mari, thank you for everything, ‘ the club tweeted.

Flamengo took to Twitter to thank Mari for his time at the club where he won two titles last year

Flamengo took to Twitter to thank Mari for his time at the club where he won two titles last year

During his short stay in South America, Mari won the Copa Libertadores and the league title

During his short stay in South America, Mari won the Copa Libertadores and the league title

Edu has revealed that Arsenal have been following Mari for some time.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” he said.

“We have been following Pablo’s career for some time and we are very happy to have made an agreement with Flamengo to initially join us until the end of our season.

Mari's arrival is a welcome addition to the squad after Shkodran Mustafi gets injured

Mari’s arrival is a welcome addition to the squad after Shkodran Mustafi gets injured

“With Mikel and his coaching staff, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

The need to bolster his defensive ranks was not lost on Arteta, who saw Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi sidelined with injuries and Konstantinos Mavropanos leaving on loan for Nurnberg.

Mari rose through the ranks at Real Mallorca before moving on to Gimnastic and then Manchester City.

He failed to make a first-team appearance at the Etihad Stadium, but reportedly worked closely with Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the time.

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