Mari to Arsenal still on, discussion over transfer structure - sources

Flamengo centre back Pablo Mari's move to Arsenal is still on as both clubs continue to negotiate the structure of the deal for the Spaniard, sources have told ESPN.

Negotiations suffered a setback on Monday but sources have told ESPN the deal was never dead despite Flamengo having put out a statement criticising Arsenal's attitude.

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Arsenal initially considered signing Mari now but prefer to get him on loan with an option to buy permanently in the summer.

The north London club remain optimistic the transfer will go through before Friday's deadline for a fee of €10 million. Flamengo bought him for €2m.

Mari, 26, who was on Manchester City's books between 2016 and 2019 where he was with Mikel Arteta but never actually played for the first team, is determined to join Arsenal.

He has put pressure on the Flamengo's hierarchy to accept their offer. Mari was in London on Saturday before flying back to Brazil on Monday after the discussions stalled.

He is ready to flew back at any time now once the deal is agreed and he will become Arteta's first signing at Arsenal.