Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Flamengo defender joins Arsenal on loan

Flamengo's Pablo Mari

Arsenal have agreed to sign Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on loan until the end of the season.

The deal includes the option of a permanent move for the 26-year-old Spaniard in the summer.

Mari scored two goals in 22 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A side, who he joined in July 2019.

"Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality," Arsenal technical director Edu said on Wednesday.

Mari was a Manchester City player from 2016-19, but never featured for the club, instead going on season-long loans at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna.

He won the Brazilian Serie A title and the Copa Libertadores with Flamengo and becomes Mikel Arteta's first signing since being appointed as Gunners boss in December.

Arsenal's defensive problems increased with an injury to Shkodran Mustafi in their FA Cup fourth-round win at Bournemouth on Monday.

The German defender is due to have a scan after being taken off on a stretcher at Vitality Stadium.

Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac have already been sidelined by injury.

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