Arsenal transfer on brink of collapse as ‘disappointed’ Pablo Mari heads back to Brazil

Pablo Mari underwent a medical with Arsenal at the weekend
Pablo Mari underwent a medical with Arsenal at the weekend (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal’s move for Pablo Mari appears in serious jeopardy after the defender reportedly headed back to Brazil despite undergoing a medical with the Premier League giants.

Mikel Arteta has been keen to add a centre-back to his squad this January following Calum Chambers’ season-ending knee injury and Mari was identified as the club’s most realistic target.

Technical director Edu reached an agreement with Flamengo for Mari last week and the 26-year-old caught a flight to Heathrow on Saturday, with an official announcement expected before Friday’s transfer deadline.

It’s understood the Gunners had a deal in place to sign Mari on loan with a view to a permanent move for a fee of around £7.5million at the end of the season.

However, according to The Daily Mail, discussions have broken down and Arsenal’s deal for the Spaniard is now on the brink of collapsing.

The report claims a ‘disappointed’ Mari has since made his way back home to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with just five days remaining of the January transfer window.

Arsenal have not given up hope of landing Mari, though, and talks are expected to pick up again, with the north London club desperate for defensive reinforcements.

Mari has headed back home to Brazil
Mari has headed back home to Brazil (Picture: Getty)

After landing in London at the weekend, Mari was clearly confident that Arsenal would wrap up the move as he spoke to reporters at Heathrow airport.

Asked whether he was excited to sign for Arsenal, Mari replied: ‘Yeah, of course!’

It’s believed Mari even said his goodbyes to Flamengo players and coaching staff ahead of his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training base.

Mari was on Manchester City’s books from 2016 to 2019 but never made an appearance for the Premier League champions, heading out on loan to Girona, NAC and Deportivo La Coruna.

Liverpool came up against Mari when facing Flamengo in the Club World Cup final last month.

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