Arsenal are reportedly trying to salvage their deal for defender Pablo Mari, who was expected to sign for Arsenal before the end of the January transfer window.

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 17: 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 Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR – DECEMBER 17: 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 Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Pablo Mari was supposed to become an Arsenal player this month. His fans at Flamengo even wished the 26-year-old ‘farewell’ ahead of his move to London.

Now, after reports that talks between the clubs had run into difficulties, the Daily Mail claim that Flamengo have called the whole thing off.

Daily Mail, 28 January 2020

Despite the rest of the paper, the Daily Mail’s sports section tends to be relatively reliable and over the weekend it was the same paper who were reporting Arsenal’s deal for Mari was collapsing.

Mari has reportedly already had a medical with Arsenal, as noted above, and while there was some confusion in Brazil over whether the deal was a loan or a permanent move, the Mail have always believed it to be a loan arrangement with a £7.5m option to buy.

Speaking after Arsenal’s win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup on Monday night, Mikel Arteta was asked if the injury to Shkodran Mustafi would change his plans in regards to Mari or the window.

“No,” he replied. “We had a very clear intention of what we wanted to do in the market with the resources we have and if we can do it, fine. But his fitness [Mustafi’s fitness] won’t change anything.”

The injury to Mustafi, however, is unlikely to soften Flamengo’s stance on Mari. If anything, they could well increase his price further given Arsenal’s deepening need for a player in that position.

The transfer window closes at 11pm on Friday, so we will know one way or the other by then for sure.