Arsenal target another loan signing once Pablo Mari transfer is done

Pablo Mari celebrates scoring for Flamengo
Mari is set to join Arsenal on loan (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are targeting another signing once the transfer of Pablo Mari is complete, according to reports.

The Gunners are poised to land Flamengo defender Mari on loan after Mikel Arteta made it clear to the Arsenal board he needed a new centre-back.

The Athletic claim Mari ticks the box as a left-footed defender, which was requested by Arteta when he took charge at Arsenal.

Arsenal could make another addition to their squad before the transfer deadline on Friday.

Arteta is also keen on a full-back and Arsenal are reportedly weighing up a late move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares.

Mari is set to fly to London from Brazil, having left England when talks broke down earlier this week.

Mikel Arteta is pictured smiling before an Arsenal game
Arteta wanted reinforcements this month (Picture: Reuters)

Flamengo wanted Arsenal to commit to buying Mari at the end of the loan deal, but the Gunners have managed to convince the Brazilian club to accept an option for the permanent signing, rather than an obligation.

Mari, 26, has no experience in the Premier League and there were concerns among the Arsenal board about how he might adapt to English football.

Arsenal have been restricted in the January window by a lack of funds and have prioritised loan signings after a busy summer.

The window closes at 11pm on 31 January and Arsenal are back in action in the Premier League against Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Amid concerns Arsenal might not be able to sign a single player this month, Rio Ferdinand urged the club to back Arteta.

‘This is where Mikel Arteta needs to do something different to the Arsenal managers in the last eight or nine years – buy a decent centre-half,’ he said.

‘Buy someone who can come in and be a mainstay and you go, “actually wow, he’s made us better”.

‘Because I haven’t seen one come in since [Laurent] Koscielny.

‘If that’s the player [Mari] that Mikel Arteta wants and he deems him the man who’s going to come in and shore up the defence, I think he deserves that.

‘You’ve invested in him as a manager, you need to invest in his ideas as a manager in the transfer market, too.’

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