Serie A side reach ‘white smoke’ as they close in on Arsenal defender

Serie A outfit Udinese are closing in on the signing of Arsenal defender Pablo Mari, according to reports in Italy.

The 28-year-old initially joined the Gunners on loan from Flamengo in January 2020 before signing permanently a few months later.

He has only featured three times for Arsenal this season and has not played in the Premier League since the 2-0 loss against Chelsea on August 22.

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Mari’s lack of game time has caught the attention of numerous clubs, particularly in Serie A, where Udinese are about to wrap up a deal for the former Gimnastic defender.

Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb claim that the Spaniard will move on loan to Udinese before the end of the month as they have reached ‘white smoke’ over a deal but Gianluca Di Marzio insists there will be no clause to make the loan permanent in the summer.

Di Marzio adds that the signing of Mari will provide Udinese – who find themselves four points above the relegation zone in Serie A – with a ‘strongly desired shot’.

Meanwhile, Arsenal had their match against Tottenham on Sunday postponed due to covid cases, injuries and players away on AFCON.

But Mikel Arteta was upbeat following their 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and wants to carry that same “fight and resilience” into their next match.

“Well it certainly gives them the experience that they are able to do that,” Arteta said. “That resilience to do what they did last night is based on your spirit, your belief and the fact that you’re never going to give up, and take on any challenge that is facing you – and do you best.

“Sometimes you have to still extend that and against the team that we played last night, that was necessary.

“I think we are in the right direction. Yesterday we had to play an extremely difficult match, 70 minutes with 10 men, but I saw a lot of leadership on that pitch from very young players and that gives me a lot of encouragement because they understood what was needed, they were up for the challenge and they showed a real fight and resilience to do what they did.”


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