Arsenal defender Pablo Mari edges closer to joining newly-promoted Serie A side Monza
Arsenal defender Pablo Mari moves closer to joining newly promoted Serie A team Monza… with the Spaniard looking to make a return to Italy after loaning out the second half of last season to Udinese
- Pablo Mari wanted to stay in Italy after 15 appearances for Udinese
- Monza, owned by Silvio Berlusconi, has now jumped to the front of the line
- The Arsenal defender has two years left at the Emirates Stadium
- Hellas Verona was also interested, as he turned down a move to Fenerbahce
Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, 28, is concluding a move to Italy’s Monza.
The centre-back is keen to return to Serie A after loaning out the second half of last season to Udinese, who did not have a buy option included in the deal.
Udinese remains keen to capture the Spaniard, but Monza has now jumped to the front of the line.
Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, 28, seals move to Serie A side Monza in Italy
Silvio Berlusconi’s club are reportedly looking to sign a lease with a purchase obligation within the next 48 hours – which would come into effect if they avoid relegation this season.
Such an agreement would follow the structure of deals they made for several players after their first-ever promotion to the top of Italian football.
Hellas Verona is also interested in the former Flamengo centre-back, who is also said to have turned down a transfer to Fenerbahce and a reunion with Jorge Jesus in the past week.
The centre-back – who turns 29 later this month – has a two-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Mari is keen to return to Serie A after loaning out the second half of last season to Udinese
Mari joined Arsenal on loan from Brazilian club Flamengo in January 2020, before the move became final in the summer of that year.
He made 19 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, scoring just once in a 4-1 win against Rapid Vienna in last season’s Europa League.
The Spaniard played the full 90 minutes at the start of last season in Premier League defeats to Brentford and Chelsea, while what would likely be his last Gunners appearance came in a 3-0 League Cup win against Wimbledon.
He was then loaned to Udinese in January, where he made 15 Serie A appearances and scored twice.
Silvio Berlusconi’s newly promoted club has jumped to the front of the line
Mari told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport before the end of his loan that he wanted to stay in Italy, stating: ‘When I arrived in January I had a clear and precise idea.
‘I told the coach and’ [club owner] Gino Pozzo that I would come and play. But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, training after training. [Head coach] Cioffi was the first to welcome me, well, here.
“It’s the right competition for me. Very tactical. I try to pull the attacker towards me.
“I really like to have the ball and here it can be done and then there’s the fight and I like a fight on the pitch. I would like to stay in Italy.
Mari was featured three times in preparation for the season for Arsenal, including the win against Everton
“I am very good at Udinese and I would like to bring the club even higher in the standings. Of course I still have a two-year contract with Arsenal.
‘After the surgery on my left ankle, where I was sidelined for five months, I’m playing continuously again.’
Mari was featured three times in pre-season for Arsenal, including their 5-3 away win at Nuremberg and their US tour wins against Everton and Orlando City.