Report: 26-year-old defender set for Arsenal medical, photo shows him at airport with Edu

Pablo Mari of Flamengo lifts the trophy after winning during the final match of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 between Flamengo and River Plate at Estadio Monumental on November 23, 2019...

Arsenal are reportedly nearing a deal for defender Pablo Mari.

Pablo Mari of Flamengo lifts the trophy after winning during the final match of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 between Flamengo and River Plate at Estadio Monumental on November 23, 2019...

According to UOL Esporte, Flamengo defender Pablo Mari has travelled to London to sign for Arsenal – and will undergo a medical with the Gunners.

Flamengo RJ claim that whilst Mari's release clause is €30million, Arsenal will be paying just a third of that, with a €10million (£8.5million) fee suggested.

Additionally, Coluna Do Fla have released a photo of Mari at the airport with Edu, Arsenal's technical director, again pointing towards a deal being done.

 

Mari and his family allegedly want a return to Europe after less than a year in Brazil, with Arsenal now pressing ahead with a cheap deal to boost Mikel Arteta's back line.

Mari, 26, helped Flamengo win the Brazilian Serie A title and the Copa Libertadores, whilst bagging three goals in 30 appearances for them.

A 6ft 3in centre back who is dominant in the air, Mari is also left-footed, and could bring some balance to the Arsenal back four alongside a right-footed option.

Pablo Mari of CR Flamengo reacts during the FIFA Club World Cup Final Match between Liverpool FC and CR Flamengo at Khalifa International Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

Arteta may be familiar with Mari given that Manchester City signed him in 2016, but he failed to make a single appearance for the club, instead spending time out on loan with Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna.

Signing a 26-year-old defender for £8.5million with little proven track record may be a concern for Arsenal fans, but they'll be hoping that Edu has plucked another gem from Brazilian football having signed Gabriel Martinelli over the summer.

Pablo Mari of CR Flamengo celebrates victory after the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final match between CR Flamengo and Al Hilal FC at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2019 in...

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