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Flamengo’s Defender,Pablo Mari flies in for Arsenal medical

Flamengo’s Defender,Pablo Mari flies in for Arsenal medical

Arsenal are edging closer to completing a deal for the Flamengo centre-back Pablo Mari, after the 26-year-old was apparently spotted with Gunners technical director Edu..Mari shackled Liverpool’s Saido Mane and Sallah during the last club world cup final with his robust playing style.

Spaniard Mari is familiar to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta having been on the books at Manchester City for three years, although he never played a first-team game for the club.

He was immediately loaned out to City’s sister club Girona upon signing in 2016, and then departed on further loan spells to NAC Breda in the Netherlands and Deportivo La Coruna back home in Spain.

Mari joined Brazilian side Flamengo in July last year for around £1million, and he has been a key figure in manager Jorge Jesus’ side. He played 30 times in the 2019 season, and was in the Flamengo team that lost 1-0 to Liverpool after extra-time in the Club World Cup final in Qatar last month.

Globo Esporte in Brazil claim that the deal to sell Mari to the Gunners is now ‘well under way’, with the transfer set to cost around £7million after he was spotted with Edu preparing to fly to London.

Who is Pablo Mari?

Pablo Mari is a 26-year-old defender who currently plays in Brazil with Flamengo,

Born in Almussafes, Spain, he started his career in Real Mallorca’s youth team, before earning a first-team promotion in the 2011/2012 where he would make two senior appearances.

However, Mari established himself as a regular at Gimnastic following a 2013 summer transfer and went on to make almost 100 league appearances for the club across a three year spell.

Then in 2016 he joined Manchester City – the same summer which Pep Guardiola officially started work at the Etihad Stadium – but he never made an appearance for the reigning Premier League champions.

Whilst contracted to City, Mari enjoyed loan spells at Girono, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna – with the latter proving to be the most fruitful as he was ever-present in the league.

Last summer he was on the move again, this time leaving Europe altogether as he joined Brazilian outfit Flamengo.

How has he done this season?

Technically the season in Brazil has concluded, but 2019 was a successful one for Mari and Flamengo.Standind at 6’3,Mani is aerially dominant,good tackler and quite adept at playing the high pressing game favoured by Gauadola and Arteta because they play same style in Flamengo,Brazil’s biggest club.

Crowned champions of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and  South American continental champion, Mari featured in 22 of the 38 games, scoring twice and registering one assist as Flamengo finished 16 points clear of Santos and Palmeiras.

According to whoscored, Mari averaged one tackle, one interception, committed 1.3 fouls and made 2.9 clearances per game in the Brasileiro last season. In addition, Flamengo won the 2019 Copa Libertadores with victory over River Plate in the final as Gabriel Barbosa netted two late goals to earn the club’s second ever title.

That also meant Flamengo qualified for the FIFA Club World Championship final.

Entering at the semi-final stage, they beat Al-Hilal to set up a meeting with Liverpool but were beaten 1-0 thanks to Roberto Firmino’s goal in extra-time and Mari played the entire 120 minutes.

How much will he cost?

Reports in Brazil claim a deal taking Mari to the Emirates Stadium will be in the region of £7.5m but like Gabriel Martinelli,this could be a shrewd signing if his performance against Liverpool is an indication of his prowess.

This works out well for the Gunners following their summer transfer spree which saw them splash out £72m on Nicolas Pepe to make him their record signing.

There were also deals for Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and William Saliba



About Femi Ige