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Arsenal Centre-back Set to Complete Permanent Move to Serie A Club This Summer

Pablo Mari, Udinese, Arsenal

Fresh reports indicate that Udinese are set to sign Arsenal loanee Pablo Mari permanently ahead of the upcoming season. During the January transfer window, Arsenal had finalised six outgoing loan deals from their squad. One such deal included the Spanish defender getting loaned off to the Italian side Udinese.

Pablo Mari first arrived at Arsenal on a loan deal from Flamengo in January 2020. The Gunners then went on to sign him permanently before the start of the 2020-21 season. However, over time, the defender lost the trust of manager Mikel Arteta and he was sent on loan to Udinese last January. Following the Spaniard’s successful spell in Italy, sources signal his permanent sale to the club before the new season starts.

Pablo Mari, Udinese, Arsenal
Image Obtained Via Dailycannon

According to Metro, Arsenal are very much open to the idea of selling Pablo Mari to Udinese this summer. The sale of the defender will save the club over £7million worth of performance-related bonuses in his contract. Brazilain outlet Globo Esporte earlier reported that the Gunners have an obligation to pay his former club Flamengo a bonus of €1million (£865,000) for every 10 Premier League appearances until he plays 80 games.

Mari failed to establish himself at Arsenal ever since he arrived at the Emirates in 2020. Although he won the FA Cup in his first year, the 28-year-old could not hold onto his place in the starting XI as he fell out of favour with Arteta. He was also subjected to harsh criticism for his below-average performances at the start of the season.

Eventually, the former Manchester City player found himself behind Ben White, Gabriel and Rob Holding in competition for the two centre-backs positions in the team. However, Mari’s fortunes changed as he opted for a change of scene in Italy.

With Udinese, he has played 14 league games since February, as compared to just two league matches with the Londoners. The Spanish centre-back has also scored a goal against Fiorentina, while keeping 2 clean sheets during his time with the club (stats via Transfermarkt). Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino has recently spoken about his desire to have him even beyond the end of this season.

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Even Pablo Mari, while speaking to Gazette Dello Sport, expressed his wish to continue playing for Udinese for next season as well. He said:

‘‘I would like to stay in Italy.

‘‘I’m very well at Udinese and I’d be happy to take the club even higher in the standings.

‘‘Of course, I still have a two-year contract with Arsenal.’’

The Gunners are already trying different avenues with regards to the centre-back position. William Saliba may be a part of the Gunners squad next season. If Arsenal sell Pablo Mari to Udinese permanently, they will have to look for a replacement – and an able one at that, especially as they are almost sure of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

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Abir Chaudhuri
A football fan who loves to write about the game.

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