Arsenal’s Premier League forgotten man Pablo Mari will not be returning to Brazil with former club Flamengo in the January transfer window, vice-president Marcos Braz tells Torcedores.
If that was the 28-year-old’s final league game in Arsenal colours, well he only really has himself to blame.
Mari has not been seen in the top-flight since a 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea in August.
And memories of a 28-year-old centre-half being tossed aside like an empty crisp packet by a rampaging Romelu Lukaku will have Arsenal supporters waking up in cold sweat.
Mari appeared to lose the trust of his manager on that fateful late-summer afternoon and, five months on, it’s fair to say the one-time Manchester City defender has fallen some way down Mikel Arteta’s pecking order.
Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and arguably even Calum Chambers are ahead of him these days.
But while Mari is facing an uncertain future at the Emirates, it seems there is no chance of a return to a Flamengo side with whom the Spaniard tasted Copa Libertadores glory in 2019.
What next for Arsenal’s Pablo Mari?
“He is not considered (a realistic transfer target) because he does not express any desire to return to Brazil,” explains Braz.
“The decision to come and play for Flamengo, from a European player, is a life decision. Pablo Marí has a Spanish wife and is now in England.
“He is a sensational player, polite, always willing. I would love to (sign him), but we understand that he would not like to return now.”
If Mari wants to stay this side of the Atlantic, then he may be tempted by the prospect of a move to Italy with Serie A giants AC Milan. The Rossoneri are prioritising a new centre-half after losing the influential Simon Kjaer to a long-term injury (Milan Live).