Transfer News: Arsenal star Pablo Mari considering Flamengo return

Pablo Mari remains open to the idea of returning to Flamengo after being sidelined by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.

According to The Sun, Arsenal defender, Pablo Mari is open to moving back to Brazil with Flamengo after growing frustrated under Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard itches for playing time, something he doesn’t seem likely to get at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.

Pablo Mari made a name when Flamengo faced off against Liverpool in the FIFA Club World Cup. The Spaniard’s eye-catching display turned Arsenal’s head, who had defensive issues at the time. After signing the big defender on an initial loan in January 2020, the Gunners made the deal permanent in the following summer.

Injuries and a mixed-bag form have been Mari’s highlight as an Arsenal player. However, he put in a few crucial performances in the Premier League and Europa League last season. In nearly two years at the club, the Spaniard has managed just 22 appearances across competitions.

This season, he started in Arsenal’s first two games that ended in 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea. Mikel Arteta has since sidelined the defender from his plans, with Mari last making the matchday squad in the Premier League as an unused substitute against Burnley way back in September.

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The signing of Ben White from Brighton in the summer has proved problematic for Mari. The English defender’s partnership with Gabriel has ensured the Spaniard has slipped down the pecking order, with Rob Holding also ahead of him. Ideally, Arteta would be open to keeping him in the squad, given his experience, in order to have depth in the position.

But if the defender decides to quit in January, Arsenal will have to sign a replacement in the market. The Gunners also have promising defender William Saliba on loan with Marseille, who are reportedly keen on signing him permanently. Arteta is ready to integrate the Frenchman into his plans next season, a point where he could be open to selling Mari.

Reports, however, indicate that Mari might be interested in returning to Flamengo in January as he is frustrated by being sidelined at the Emirates. The defender is keen to get a consistent run of games and could request the club to grant a loan move back to Brazil.

The major problem for Flamengo would be Mari’s wages, which is a reported 85,000-per-week. If Arsenal allow him to leave, they may need to pay a substantial portion of his salary. In such a scenario, the Gunners might look to send him away to a European side instead.

It’s unlikely that Arteta will agree to a move without signing a replacement in the next window. However, his lack of involvement with the first team might prompt Mari to move away if Flamengo come with an offer.

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