Mikel Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s transfer plans after Pablo Mari delay

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal remain in the market for a new defender
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal remain in the market for a new defender (BT Sport)

Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal are still in the market to sign a new defender as the Gunners look to complete a deal for Flamengo’s centre-back Pablo Mari.

The Spanish defender travelled from Brazil to London with Arsenal’s technical director Edu on Saturday but was unable to finalise his move over the weekend.

Arsenal reportedly changed the terms of the transfer as they are unable to afford Mari’s £7.5 million transfer fee up front and wanted a loan deal instead.

But Flamengo have been angered by Arsenal’s switch and Mari returned to Brazil on Monday with the transfer still to be completed.

Arsenal remain hopeful of completing a deal to sign Pablo Mari from Flamengo
Arsenal remain hopeful of completing a deal to sign Pablo Mari from Flamengo (Getty Images)

On Monday evening, reports in Brazil claimed that negotiations had been stepped up between both clubs and it is now hopeful that a deal can be agreed.

Asked if Arsenal will sign a defender before the deadline, Arteta told BT Sport after Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round: ‘We are in the market.

‘The club is trying to facilitate us one or two bodies if we can with the resources we have in this window.

‘But I don’t know, whenever we have something to say we’ll confirm with you.’

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