According to a report from Coluna Do Fla, Arsenal have told Flamengo that they want to buy Pablo Mari permanently in the summer.
The Gunners signed the Spanish defender on loan from the Brazilian outfit last month. Mari is yet to play for the Gunners first team. However, if the report is to be believed, he must have shown something really special in training.
Arsenal have already paid £4.2 million as loan fees in the deal that brought him to the Emirates. We also have an option to buy him in the summer which would take the fee to about £13.5 million including bonuses.
A bargain price but is he good enough?
That is incredibly cheap for a defender in today’s market. However, it is hard to believe that Arsenal have come to this decision without seeing him play in a competitive game.
At 6ft 4in, Mari has the physicality that the Premier League demands but his defensive qualities in the fast-paced English game is untested until now.
The Spaniard is expected to play against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday. Arsenal fans will be seeing him in action for the first time and if he does impress, we could pull off a huge bargain in the summer.
If Mari joins permanently, the futures of a few others will be under scrutiny at the end of the season. Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, Chambers, Holding, Mavropanos and Saliba make eight including the Spaniard which is just too many.
Arteta will have a few tough decisions to make in the summer. However, if he believes that Mari is good enough for Arsenal, we should believe in him too.