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Breaking: Arsenal confirm Pablo Mari loan deal as defender joins from Flamengo

Arsenal have confirmed that Pablo Mari will join the club after securing a deal with Flamengo for the centre-back.

The 26-year-old will arrive on loan until the end of this season for a fee of £4million. The Gunners also have the option to buy Mari in the summer.

Mari is the Gunners’ first signing of the Mikel Arteta era after the Gunners initially let three players leave the club on loan early in January.

Losing Calum Chambers to a season-ending injury in December, Mikel Arteta has always been open to the arrival of a centre-back this month. Shkodran Mustafi’s ankle sprain against Bournemouth also leaves the Gunners light in defence.

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“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu told the club’s official website.

“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season. Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

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The Spaniard flew to London on Saturday (January 25) with Edu to undergo his medical before a planned return back to Brazil.

Arsenal reached a breakthrough in negotiations late last night with the Brazilian club, who had previously been holding out for a permanent deal, sanctioning Mari’s departure for what is a significant profit on the £1million they paid for him in July.

Flamengo confirmed the deal before Arsenal in a tweet on Wednesday (January 29) afternoon.

“The time has come to say goodbye to this defender who arrived at Flamengo to make his mark in our history with the titles of Conmebol Libertadores and the Brazilian Championship,” the club said.

“Pablo Mari, thanks for everything.”