According to Sky Sports, defender Pablo Mari has flown into London to take a medical at Arsenal.
With less than a week of the January transfer window left, the Gunners will need to move quick if they are to add to their squad. Mari, though, looks almost a dead-cert to come in.
He’s flown to London to undergo a medical with Arsenal, who are reportedly looking to loan the Spaniard until the end of the season – with an option to buy included in the deal.
2019 was a successful year for Mari and his current club, Flamengo. The 26-year-old played in 22 matches as the Brazilian club won the league, whilst he also featured in six games during their Copa Libertadores triumph.
Mikel Arteta will be familiar with him as well. Mari left Manchester City in 2019 to join Flamengo, so the Arsenal boss will have been able to see first hand what Mari is capable of during his own stint at the Etihad.
But although 2019 was a good year, it is hard to see why Arteta wants to take him to the Emirates Stadium. Before Flamengo, he appeared for NAC Breda, Girona, Gimnastic de Tarragona and Deportivo La Coruna, making a grand total of just 32 appearances across all top flights in the world.
Last year, he managed one tackle and one interception per match. Not terrible, but also likely not make a huge difference to a team that has the joint-10th worst goals conceded record in the Premier League.
This is a deal that stinks of desperation. Arsenal will reportedly not have a huge budget to spend this month, and so this deal is, unsurprisingly, being done on the cheap – potentially with no fee at all as it’s initially on loan.
Whilst Mari did well in Brazil, English football is a whole different kettle of fish, and it is notoriously hard to adapt halfway through the season. This already has the feeling of a typical January loan flop, akin to Kim Kallstrom.
In other news, Real Madrid are eyeing an Arsenal star.