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Pablo Mari’s proposed move from Flamengo to Arsenal is in danger of collapsing because a late hitch has reportedly seen negotiations between the two teams stall.
The 26-year-old centre back travelled to London along with Gunners technical director Edu, completing a medical on Saturday, and it appeared there would be no issues with a deal being finalised.
But according to the Daily Mail Mari has now flown back to Rio de Janeiro, with suggestions that an agreement has not yet been met between Flamengo and Arsenal over a transfer fee, which was expected to be around £7m.
It is believed the Gunners are keen on a loan deal with an option to purchase the player in the summer, but Flamengo would prefer a permanent deal and money up front straight away.
All may not be lost for the Gunners, however, as The Athletic report that Mari was always due to return to Brazil before his move was confirmed, and that talks are still ongoing.
Mikel Arteta is known to wish to bolster his backline this month, with Shkodran Mustafi failing to impress again during the 2-2 draw midweek with Chelsea, in which his mistake led to David Luiz conceding a penalty and getting sent off.
Mari joined Manchester City in 2016 but failed to make an appearance at the Etihad, having loan spells at Girona, NAC and Deportivo La Coruna before moving permanently to Brazil last year.
He has impressed at the back for Flamengo, and became the first Spaniard to ever win the Copa Libertadores by helping his side beat River Plate 2-1 in the final in November.
It remains to be seen whether a deal can be agreed before the transfer window shuts on Friday, but if the move does go through Mari could be in line to make his debut against Burnley on Sunday.