Arsenal defender Pablo Mari is inching closer to a move to Serie A side Monza, a report from the Daily Mail has claimed. The 28-year-old centre-back, who spent the second half of the 2021-22 season on loan at Udinese, is supposedly keen on returning to Italy.
The Gunners loaned out Mari to Udinese for a six-month spell in January. He easily adjusted to the Italian top flight and ended up impressing his new employers over the 15 Serie A matches he played for them. Unfortunately for Udinese, there was no purchase option included in Mari’s contract.
It is believed that Udinese are still keen on signing the Spaniard but find themselves in an uphill battle against Monza, who have emerged as the frontrunners for Mari’s services.
As per reports, Monza are close to finalizing a loan deal with Arsenal for Mari. The deal, which could be completed in the next 48 hours, would have a mandatory purchase option that would be activated if Monza manage to avoid relegation in the 2022-23 season.
Fellow Serie A outfit Hellas Verona have also shown interest in Mari, while the player himself has turned down advances from Turkish club Fenerbahce. The defender, who has so far played 22 games across competitions for the north London outfit, is contracted with the Gunners until June 2024.
Arsenal is set to play the first match of the 2022-23 Premier League season
On Friday, August 5, Arsenal will play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, thus kicking off the 2022-23 Premier League campaign.
The Gunners are coming into the match on the back of blistering pre-season form, winning all five of their friendly fixtures. Over the course of their pre-season campaign, they scored 20 goals and conceded only four.
New signing Gabriel Jesus emerged as their standout performer in that stretch, scoring seven goals. Fans of the north London club will expect the Brazilian to carry his pre-season form into the Premier League.
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace, who played some fine football last season, might have a thing or two to say about that.