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Transfer latest: Player completes medical as Arsenal thrash out terms of £7.5m deal

Pablo Mari has travelled back to Brazil after completing a medical in London as Arsenal continue to try and thrash out a deal with Flamengo

The January transfer window is in full swing so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip from around the globe. Today, the latest on Arsenal’s pursuit of Pablo Mari…

Pablo Mari has travelled back to Brazil after completing a medical in London as Arsenal continue to try and thrash out a deal with Flamengo for the centre-back, according to reports today.

Mikel Arteta is desperately trying to strengthen his options in defence before the end of the month after Calum Chambers was ruled out for at least six months with a knee ligament injury. Shkodran Mustafi made another costly mistake against Chelsea last week so Arsenal need another centre-back to compete with David Luiz, Rob Holding and Sokratis during the second half of the season.

Mari emerged as a prime target late last week with widespread reports suggesting Arsenal were in talks with Flamengo over a deal and the defender was seen arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday along with technical director Edu.

The Daily Mail claims Mari completed his medical over the weekend and was expected to finalise an initial six-month loan deal which includes an option for Arsenal to make the move permanent for £7.5m in the summer.

The Daily Mail says the transfer is now in serious doubt as Mari has flown back to Brazil having failed to complete the proposed move after a supposed late ‘hitch’ threatened to derail the deal.

However, the Evening Standard dispute those claims as they say Mari had always planned to head back to Brazil after his medical and the paper suggests the move is still very-much ON with Arsenal actively in talks with Flamengo to finalise the deal.

We’ll now have to wait and see how those negotiations go over the coming days but it looks like Arsenal are still close to sealing a deal for Mari to make the centre-back Arteta’s first signing since arriving as manager in December.

The 26-year-old is a left-footed defender who was at Manchester City for three years but failed to make a first team appearance and spent time on loan at Girona, NAC and Deportivo La Coruna before joining Flamengo on a permanent deal last summer.

The Spaniard has flourished in Brazil as he’s played a key role in helping Flamengo win the Brazilian Serie A title and win the Copa Libertadores while he impressed during their narrow 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Club World Cup last month.

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