Arsenal paid Flamengo a lot less for Pablo Mari than initial reports suggested, according to the Brazilian clubs vice president of finance.

Pablo Mari (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Pablo Mari (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

When Arsenal made the decision to sign Pablo Mari permanently this summer, there was talk he could cost as much as €16m (£14.4m).

One report from a Brazilian outlet – covered here – claimed Arsenal would pay €8m in a loan fee and purchase clause, plus a further €8m if the player made 80 appearances for the club. However, it seems these figures were way off.

Journalist Allan Abi Madi spoke to Flamengo vice president of finance Rodrigo Tostes about the transfer. Flamengo’s financial statements for the quarter suggested the deal was worth €4m, so Madi asked if this was some instalment, or a loan fee, etc.

Tostes answered in straight-forward fashion: “This is the total value of the sale.”

There’s little reason for Tostes to lie. It’s part of his job to make it seem like Flamengo got the best deal possible, to keep shareholders and fans happy. But if he knows Flamengo won’t get any more than €4m, there’s little benefit to saying differently.

If he says Flamengo got €16m when they didn’t, then their next few financial statements will look very disappointing to anyone expecting to see bigger profits as a result of that claim. Point being, if he says it’s €4m, it’s probably true.

Hopefully, this takes a bit of the pressure off Mari. Despite making three appearances and not conceding a goal, he gets a lot of criticism from the Arsenal fanbase for costing a lot and being injured.

At least soon we can focus on judging him for what he does or doesn’t do on the pitch instead.