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Fenerbahce Make Contact With Arsenal to Sign Out-of-Favour Centre-Back, Talks Already Initiated

Pablo Mari, Fenerbahce, Monza

Reports in Turkey indicate that Fenerbahce could be a possible destination for Arsenal centre-back Pablo Mari. The Turkish side are looking to bring in a new centre-back and the Spaniard has emerged as a potential target.

Undoubtedly, the Gunners have been pretty busy during this transfer window. The Gunners have already confirmed five signings and are looking to add more names to the squad. However, the board is also looking to finalise the exits of certain players who are surplus to the manager’s needs, with defender Pablo Mari among them.

Arsenal have had four departures so far this window. Konstantinos Mavrapanos and Matteo Guendouzi finalised a permanent deal to Stuttgart and Olympique Marseille, respectively. Alexandre Lacazette went back to Olympique Lyon on a free transfer, while newcomer Auston Trusty was loaned off to Birmingham City.

Pablo Mari, Fenerbahce, Arsenal
Image Obtained Via Daily Cannon

With the Spanish defender not in Arteta’s plans for the upcoming season, the North London club want to settle the defender’s future before the season begins. If reports are to be believed, there are certain clubs who are keeping tabs on him, including Super Lig side Fenerbahce.

According to Turkish journalist Yagiz Sabuncuoglu (via The Sun), Fenerbahce have identified Pablo Mari as one of the possible targets to reinforce their defence. With the Spaniard out of favour at the Emirates, Fenerbahce boss Jorge Jesus would love to bring him in to fill in for Kim Min-jae who is off to Napoli as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly.

Meanwhile, reputed Italian journalist Rudy Galetti (via The Hard Tackle) reported that the Istanbul club have already contacted Arsenal for a potential move regarding the defender. Galetti added that the 28-year-old defender is likely to permanently leave the North London club this summer.

Pablo Mari initially arrived at Arsenal on a six-month loan spell from Flamengo in January 2020. Later in the summer, his signing was made permanent for £14 million. However, it has not been easy for the former Manchester City player to find a place in the starting lineup.

The Spaniard has only made 22 appearances in the two-and-a-half years with the Gunners (stats via transfermarkt). During the second half of last season, the 28-year-old defender joined Italian club Udinese on loan. There, he started 15 games in Serie A and scored two goals to help the club finish in 12th position.

With the 21/22 season coming to an end, Mari has returned to London but not for long. He knows he is not in Arteta’s plans with four centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order. Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes were the main centre-back pairing for last season.

William Saliba has also returned after his successful loan spell with Marseille and manager Mikel Arteta certainly plans to give him ample time on the pitch this season. Even Rob Holding seems to be ahead of Pablo Mari.

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After his short loan spell at Udinese, Mari has attracted offers from various European clubs. Many Serie A clubs who followed him during his loan stay in Italy have also approached to sign him from Arsenal. The Gunners are interested to hear offers for the defender and have placed a €15 million price tag as he still has four years remaining on his contract with the club.

An amicable exit, with the club getting the price it demands, would certainly be a win-win for both the Gunners and the player. While Pablo Mari can get the playing time he so wishes at Fenerbahce, Arsenal can free up a place in their squad for another midfield or winger signing.

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

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