Flamengo chief confirms Arsenal loanee Pablo Mari ‘has been sold’

The vice president of Brazilian giants Flamengo has announced that Arsenal loanee Pablo Mari has in fact already been sold on a permanent basis.

Arsenal switch

Spanish stopper Mari made the move to north London this past January, on loan for the remainder of the season.

The Gunners brought the 26-year-old in to add some much-needed fresh blood to the centre of the club’s defence, amid the persistently shaky showings of the likes of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.

Mari’s arrival came fresh off the back of a stellar debut campaign with Flamengo, during which the former Manchester City man was named the best defender in Brazil.

To this point, Mari has gone on to feature 3 times in Arsenal’s colours, with English football’s shutdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak having come just as the stopper had begun to establish himself in the first-team setup of Mikel Arteta.

In a pair of appearances in early March, Mari helped the Gunners to consecutive clean sheets versus Portsmouth and West Ham.

‘The case is closed’

As such, it came as a hammer blow to both the Spaniard and Arsenal when, in his 3rd straight start last week, Mari picked up a major injury.

A trip to the Etihad saw the 26-year-old suffer ankle ligament damage, an issue which is expected to see him sit out the remainder of the campaign.

This, in turn, saw many understandably question whether Mari’s long-term prospects at the Emirates had been definitively ended.

However, after Mikel Arteta revealed earlier this week that he remained hopeful of making the loanee’s transfer permanent, Flamengo’s vice president has today gone a step further.

Speaking to reporters this evening, Marcos Braz all but confirmed that Mari has joined Arsenal on a permanent basis, with the ball-playing stopper having ‘been sold’:

‘Pablo has been sold. We know he suffered an unfortunate injury, but the case is closed. At the right time, the figures of this transfer will appear on our balance sheets.’

Further reports, meanwhile, have hinted that Arsenal are set to announce Mari’s signing within the next 24 hours:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 30 45 83
2 Manchester City 29 40 60
3 Leicester City 30 30 54
4 Chelsea FC 30 13 51
5 Manchester United 30 14 46
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 9 46
7 Sheffield United 30 2 44
8 Tottenham Hotspur 30 7 42
9 Crystal Palace 30 -4 42
10 Arsenal FC 30 0 40
11 Burnley FC 29 -6 39
12 Everton FC 30 -9 38
13 Newcastle United 30 -13 38
14 Southampton FC 30 -14 37
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 30 -7 32
16 Watford FC 30 -17 28
17 West Ham United 30 -17 27
18 AFC Bournemouth 30 -20 27
19 Aston Villa 30 -23 26
20 Norwich City 30 -30 21

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