Premier League giants Arsenal have confirmed Pablo Mari as their first signing of Mikel Arteta’s tenure.
The deal for the former Manchester City defender was confirmed on Wednesday with the 26-year-old arriving on a six-month loan for a fee of around £4million. He will then join the club permanently in the summer with further add-ons.
The Brazilian club had given Mari permission to travel back to London and announced late on Tuesday night that they have signed Athletico Paranaense defender Leo Pereira for £5.9m as the Spaniard’s replacement.
Pablo Mari is set to join us on loan until the end of the season.
💬 Leave your welcome messages for @PabloMV5 below! 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 29, 2020
After finalizing the move, the Spaniard said he was delighted to be joining the London based club.
‘When I spoke to my agent, it was a big thing that Arsenal were interested in me,’ Mari said.
‘This is one of the best clubs in the world, so I’m absolutely delighted to be joining. I’m really looking forward to playing in this jersey and helping my team.’
His signing has reportedly ended the embarrassing saga between the two clubs which almost saw the deal collapse.
Last Saturday, Mari had flown to London with Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, and had his medical only for Flamengo to change their demands on the amount of money that was paid upfront.
The centre-back was then forced to return to Rio de Janeiro on Monday for the start of pre-season training but failed to report as he pushed to revive his dream move.
And now he has completed this deal.
“Right now I want to focus on the day-to-day side of things,’ Mari added on Wednesday.
“I think we need to put the plans to one side for now because the most important thing is to take things one day at a time and focus on achieving short-term goals.”
‘We need to change the dynamic around the team, so the short-term objectives are the most important thing. As I’ve said, we have Mikel’s ideas, aligned with the club, and we need to perform very well to change things.”
Mari came through the ranks at Real Mallorca before moving on to Gimnastic and then to Manchester City.
He failed to make a first-team appearance at the Etihad Stadium but would have worked closely under Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the time.