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Arsenal sign Pablo Mari from Flamengo

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The Spanish centre-back becomes Arsenal’s first signing since Mikel Arteta’s appointment as head coach

Arsenal have signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on an initial loan deal with an option to buy.

The deal for the Spaniard is worth up to £12m, with Arsenal paying a £4m loan fee upfront while having the option to make the move permanent for £8m in the summer.

The 26-year-old becomes Mikel Arteta’s first signing since taking over as Arsenal head coach in December.

“When I spoke to my agent, it was a big thing that Arsenal were interested in me,” Mari told the Arsenal website.

“This is one of the best clubs in the world, so I’m absolutely delighted to be joining. I’m really looking forward to playing in this jersey and helping my team.

“Right now I want to focus on the day-to-day side of things. I think we need to put the plans to one side for now because the most important thing is to take things one day at a time and focus on achieving short-term goals.

“We need to change the dynamic around the team, so the short-term objectives are the most important thing. As I’ve said, we have Mikel’s ideas, aligned with the club, and we need to perform very well to change things.”

Arsenal have the option to make the move permanent in the summer

Flamengo have thanked Mari for his contribution to their Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A triumphs last season and said “the time has come to say goodbye” on social media.

Mari joined Flamengo last year from Manchester City, where he had been since 2016, after loan stints at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna.

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