Report: Defender could leave Arsenal in January, former club ‘weighing up move’

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium by Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pablo Mari has an uncertain future at Arsenal after struggling for playing time under Mikel Arteta this season. The 28-year-old hasn’t featured since suffering 2-0 defeats to Brentford and Chelsea in August, and he isn’t even making the matchday squad anymore.

Mari dropped to the bench after the consecutive defeats and was an unused substitute for three games before being dropped in mid-September. Arsenal said his absence a month later was down to illness, but it’s clear he has no future at the Emirates Stadium regardless.

Football.London say the uncapped Spaniard could be on his way out of Arsenal when the winter transfer window opens and his former club are ‘weighing up a move’. Mari joined the Gunners permanently from Flamengo in 2020 after his loan move and could be returning a year later.

The 28-year-old has gone on to make 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal. He finds himself behind Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding in the pecking order, so a move in January might benefit all parties.

Arteta clearly has no plans for Mari in his side, but Football.London say Flamengo might struggle to match his Arsenal wages. The 28-year-old isn’t actively seeking a move away but is considering his options while he stays on the periphery.

The January transfer window will open in five weeks, so time will tell if he’s managed to get some minutes on the pitch before then. Arsenal have paid a total of £12m for Mari and £85k-per-week/£4.4m-a-year wages, so his sale would make back a considerable amount.

Arsenal would have to bring in a successor as Mari’s exit would leave Arteta with only three central defenders, but the money raised could go towards a replacement. Whether other suitors join Flamengo in the race for the Spaniard remains to be seen, however, as Football.London’s report doesn’t mention any other club.