Arsenal to save millions if Mikel Arteta’s first signing completes move in January

Pablo Mari could save Arsenal millions as he considers his options ahead of the January transfer window.

Whilst the 2021/22 season started brightly for Pablo Mari, he was Arsenal’s first-choice left-sided centre-back for games against Brentford and Chelsea, he now finds himself below Benjamin White and Gabriel Magalhaes in the pecking order.

In fact, the Spaniard hasn’t made a Premier League appearance since August and last featured for the first-team in their 3-0 Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon in September.

Barring an injury or a loss of form to Gabriel, Mari’s opportunities – outside of the competitions – are likely to be extremely limited and that could make the decision regarding his future easier.

And by leaving the Gunners – albeit temporarily in January – he will help to save the club in the region of €1million (£865,000).

This is in relation to when the 28-year-old joined the Gunners on a permanent deal in the summer of 2020 after becoming Mikel Arteta’s first signing in the January transfer window when he initially joined on loan.

Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte then reported in January that Arsenal have to pay Flamengo a bonus of €1million (£865,000) every time Mari makes 10 Premier League appearances, up to a maximum of 80 outings.

As the centre-back has only made 14 appearances in the top-flight of English football so far, the Gunners have only had to pay that bonus once – and that came following the 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City last season.

Therefore, with Flamengo due another €1million if Mari makes a further six Premier League appearances this season, Arsenal will avoid having to make this payment should the defender opt to leave in the new year

Of course, a permanent exit for Mari would benefit the Gunners even more as it rules out the option of further payments if the Spaniard reaches 80 Premier League appearances.

Whether he gets close to that milestone with his deal at the Emirates Stadium expiring in 2024 remains to be seen, but the 28-year-old has already said he wants to stay at the club for many years.

“I’ve been at five clubs over the last four years,” Mari said in April 2020.