Arsenal Transfer Talk: Mari, Willian, Mkhitaryan, Smalling

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Arsenal FC, along with the rest of most global football, are off indefinitely, so let’s do some transfer talk instead. If there’s one thing that can survive a global pandemic, it’s transfer rumors.

Be sure to check out our all-transfer rumor Arsenal XI and our optimal Arsenal XI, a team with all main transfer targets acquired and key players retained. We start with the latest on defender Pablo Mari, acquired from Flamengo on loan in the winter transfer window.

He’s on the verge of signing a deal to join the club, worth about £10 million, reports The Athletic.

It appears he’s truly part of the long term grand plan of manager Mikel Arteta.

Elsewere Chelsea winger Willian has been linked with many potential suitors this season, including both north London clubs, but now Liverpool are in the mix?

That’s according to Spanish outlet Sport. That seems more than a bit surprising.

In order for that move to be plausible/realistic, then the rumors about Mo Salah or Sadio Mane leaving would have to be realized, and that seems a bit far-fetched at this point.

It’s possible that Liverpool could now rival Arsenal in the race to acquire his signature, but it really doesn’t seem plausible.

Finally, we turn to AS Roma, and visit the story of the eternal city’s club trying to secure the permanent signings of two loanees. That would be Arsenal winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan, acquired in January 2018 from Manchester United, as part of a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez, and Chris Smalling a United loanee and Arsenal target.

According to the Daily Mail, Mkhitaryan is liking life in Serie A and he’s willing to take a pay cut in order to force through  a permanent move.

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Meanwhile Smalling, who has impressed in his his new surroundings, is weighing up his options, want to see whether or not Roma qualify for the UEFA Champions League first.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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