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Arsenal complete signing of 6’4 star in deal worth up to £14.4m

Arsenal have triggered a clause to sign Pablo Mari on a permanent deal

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Arsenal have decided to trigger a clause to turn Pablo Mari’s loan from Flamengo into a permanent transfer in a deal that could cost up to £14.4m, according to reports in Brazil via the Metro.

Mari arrived on an initial six-month loan from Flamengo in January as Mikel Arteta looked to strengthen his defensive options after Calum Chambers was ruled out for nine months with a knee ligament injury.

The Spaniard needed time to build-up his fitness before he was considered available for first team action and Mari made an impressive debut during Arsenal’s FA Cup fifth round win over Portsmouth in early March.

The centre-back then helped Arsenal keep another clean sheet on his Premier League debut during a 1-0 win over West Ham four days later before football was suspended for three months.

Mari kept his place in Arteta’s starting eleven when the Premier League returned on Wednesday night but he lasted just 24 minutes after being stretchered off with a serious ankle injury during a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City.

The 6ft 4in defender has been sent to see a specialist to determine the full scale of the injury but widespread reports suggest Mari may require surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

However, despite the injury, it appears Arsenal have decided to push ahead with a transfer as the Metro are citing a report from Coluna Do Fla that claims the Gunners have turned Mari’s loan into a permanent deal.

The Brazilian outlet – who have close ties with Flamengo – says Arsenal have already paid £4.5m in a loan fee and the permanent deal could cost a further £9.9m in bonuses meaning the total transfer may end up costing us £14.4m [€16m].

If true, it seems a strange move from Arsenal considering Mari has played just three times for the first team and is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a serious ankle injury.

The centre-back has looked promising during his short stint at the Emirates Stadium and he impressed for Flamengo during their World Club Cup final defeat to Liverpool late last year.

However, it’s still a surprise that we’ve opted to sign him on a permanent deal, especially considering how tight money is going to be at the club this summer due to the current financial climate.

Arteta desperately needs to strengthen his squad as Arsenal are being left behind by their rivals but the boss won’t have a lot of money to spend this summer so I think the money spent on Mari could have been better used elsewhere.

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