Pablo Mari is set to join AC Monza after helping them avoid relegation and will sign permanently from Arsenal in a £4.4 million deal.

According to Football Insider, Pablo Mari could become Arsenal’s first sale in the off-season. The 29-year-old defender is set to join AC Monza permanently after helping the Serie A side avoid relegation. An obligation clause in his loan deal kicks in with that achievement.

Pablo Mari was Mikel Arteta’s first signing since becoming Arsenal boss. He arrived on an initial loan from Brazilian side Flamengo and seemed destined to play a key role in the manager’s system. However, an early injury into his Gunners career ended the half-season, but the club took up the option to sign him permanently.

The deal cost Arsenal a reported £6.8 million, but injuries have cost Mari a chance to cement his place in this squad. He has made a total of 22 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions and has been playing in Serie A since January 2022. Last summer, Mari joined AC Monza on loan with an obligation to buy clause inserted in that contract.

The particulars of the deal stipulated Monza make the loan permanent if they avoided relegation. With their safety secured in Serie A, the Serie A side will permanently trigger the condition and sign the 29-year-old defender.

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Mari could become Arsenal’s first summer sale, and the deal could net the Premier League side a reported £4.4 million. That is a minor loss over their investment, but the club are open to culling their squad further. Mari has played 28 times for Monza this season, scoring once.

He even wore the captain’s armband in a recent game despite only being on loan. He is reportedly open to continue playing in Italy and with this team, while Arsenal plan another summer overhaul at the club. Arteta will likely let go of other defensive stars, including Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney.

Arsenal are ready to sell Holding if reasonable offers arrive, with Arteta no longer considering the defender to play a role in his squad. Similarly, Tierney could net the club a significant fee in this market as the Gunners look to cash in.

Arsenal are already in the market for a new centre-back, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba a target in the summer window. They are also chasing a new right-back and could enter the frame to bring a new left-back if Tierney leaves.

Meanwhile, they could also look to offload another loan star in Albert Sambi Lokonga. The Belgian’s former boss Vincent Kompany wants a reunion as Burnley are keen to sign the midfielder on loan for next season. Many others could leave as Arteta and Edu Gaspar plan the next phase of squad building.

Mari will sign the contract with Monza soon, as he seems settled. He knows the club and continues to find his feet in Serie A. It is a good deal for all parties involved, with Arteta now able to use the money to fund new transfers.

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