AC Milan are reportedly keen on signing Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, as Udinese cannot afford to make the Spaniard’s move permanent.

According to Corriere dello Sport, AC Milan are looking at Pablo Mari to arrive at San Siro in the summer, despite the defender being close to a switch to Udinese. Arsenal are keen to sell the Spaniard and having established himself in Serie A over the last six months, the centre-back could be keen on staying put by joining AC Milan.

Pablo Mari was one of Mikel Arteta’s first signings as Arsenal manager, but his time at the club has not gone to plan. After some promising displays in his first few starts in an Arsenal shirt, the Spaniard has endured a tough time with injuries and a loss of form.

Mari never established himself as a starter under Arteta but sometimes proved his value by filling in for first-choice defenders. With Arsenal facing problems with personnel earlier in the season, Mari started the first two games of the Premier League campaign but has not turned out for the Gunners since then.

Unsurprisingly, Arsenal agreed on a loan deal with Udinese for the 28-year-old defender, and in Italy, Mari has found a new lease on life. The Spaniard missed three games for the Serie A side and managed 15 appearances. He has been a really good presence for the club.

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Udinese were impressed by his performances and were interested in making his move permanent. However, their latest reported offer to Arsenal has been around €4 million, which is not near enough to the Gunners’ valuations of the player. In addition, Arsenal were reportedly considering a part-exchange with Udinese for their full-back Nahuel Molina.

As things stand, Udinese may not be able to afford Arsenal’s asking price, which has enabled others to look at Mari. And AC Milan are said to be interested in a move for the Spaniard and could explore the opportunity to sign him this summer.

AC Milan could offer better terms to Arsenal than Udinese did, and they liked Mari’s adaptability to Italian football this past season. The Rossoneri could be looking at him as an alternative to Sven Botman, who is courting heavy interest from the Premier League. Moreover, the Dutchman may be financially out of their reach, forcing AC Milan to look at other options.

Mari is considered a similar defender to Botman and could excel as a starter or quality backup at the San Siro. However, it could come down to Milan and Arsenal agreeing on a fee for the Spanish defender, with Arsenal very open to selling the centre-back.

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