Arsenal FC Announce First January Signing, Defender Pablo Mari


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hasn’t said much about his club’s transfer strategy, in public, this January window, and that makes sense because the more you talk about potential transfer targets the more the price goes up, but his side has now added their first player in Pablo Mari of Flamengo. He’s a centre half, and Arteta has been open about saying that’s the position they are most likely to upgrade at.

It’s a loan deal till the end of the season with an option to buy in the summer. The Spanish international is supposedly valued at £7.5 million, but the monetary amount has not been disclosed at this time.

Technical director Edu made the following statement on the Pablo Mari addition:

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality.

“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season. Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

The deal is of course subject to the completion of regulatory processes, but thus ends what has been a roller coaster of a transfer saga.

The two clubs seemingly reached agreement this past weekend, with Mari traveling from Rio de Janeiro to London to undergo his medical and sign the contract.

However, the negotiations reportedly stalled out on Monday and Mari then returned to Brazil. It’s all water under the bridge now though as Arsenal now has the first new player of the Arteta era. The 26-year-old has made 22 appearances for Flamengo this season after joining them last July from Manchester City, where he had played since 2016.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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