Arsenal are reportedly close to completing the signing of Spanish defender, Pablo Mari.
The Flamengo star has been spotted in London with former Gunners midfielder, Edu, according to a report from the Mirror.
Mari was previously on the books with Manchester City but never made the grade at the Etihad. A number of loan spells followed at the likes of Girona and Deportivo La Coruna.
However, he made the permanent move back to his homeland just this past summer.
But it looks like Mari is making a swift return to the English game if reports are true.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is clearly aware of Mari from their time together at City previously. This, then, is one of the first examples of the Spaniard utilising some of his old connections to strengthen the Gunners.
Mari was integral for Flamengo last season as they won the Copa Libertadores.
Arteta will be hoping that the 26-year-old can help plug a leaky defence that has contributed to the Gunners holding a minus two goal difference this term.
Much needed reinforcements – TBR View
Arsenal were in dire need of a central defender and it looks like Arteta might have got his man.
At 26, he’s the ideal age to come into the team and not only make an immediate impact but improve as time goes by.
You don’t contribute to winning the biggest trophy in South America without having something about you. Mari played a key role in that success, too, so his ability shouldn’t really be questioned.
Mustafi and Luiz have hardly covered themselves in glory this season for the Gunners.
Therefore, it makes sense for Arteta to bring in a new defender. It’s a positive step, too, in that Arteta is looking at players he knows of from his past.
While Mari didn’t quite make it at City, he’s not the only one. City’s loss, then, could well be Arsenal’s gain in the long-term.