Pablo Mari

David Luiz contract
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Reports: Luiz signs new Arsenal deal, Gunners to buy Mari

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David Luiz is getting the new deal he wanted, though certainly not in the most ceremonious of circumstances, as Arsenal nears making two center back deals for the future.

Arsenal’s mop-topped defender is set to sign a new one-year deal after being sent off of an error-strewn performance against Man City, according to Sky Sports.

The report also says Arsenal is close to activating a $16 million purchase option on the loan of Flamengo center back Pablo Mari.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The ex-Man City defender, 26, has been on loan since Deadline Day and played against West Ham and his former club in Premier League play as well as an FA Cup win over Portsmouth.

As for Luiz, he’s an interesting signing. He’s capable of absolute horror shows like the aforementioned City match but is only a year removed from an outstanding season at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Luiz has won league titles with Benfica, PSG, and Chelsea, as well as Champions League and Europa League crowns with the Blues. He was a PFA Team of the Year member as recently as the 2016-17 season.

Another year won’t hurt the player or the team, though it’s sure to provide at least one mind-numbing on-field gaffe and a handful of “How did he do that?” passes.

As for Mari, it’s difficult to tell whether he certainly has the goods but Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal brass have seen the Spaniard a lot more than most of us.

Arsenal reveal lengthy injury update

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Arsenal suffered two serious injuries early on in the first game of the restart at Man City and they have revealed a lengthy injury update.

Mikel Arteta has had to deal with a whole host of injury problems since he took charge of the Gunners in late December and the injury update ahead of their trip to Brighton on Saturday (Start time, 10 am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) was not pretty.

Let’s kick off the Arsenal injury news update. It will take us a little while.

Center back Pablo Mari suffered a ‘significant injury’ to his left ankle against Man City and the  man on loan from Flamengo will undergo specialist assessment, while Granit Xhaka is out for at least a few weeks after he sprained his ankle in the first few minutes of the restart.

Cedric Soares, on loan from Southampton but out of contract on June 30, has had surgery to fix a broken nose and will be return to return in July, while Sokratis has a right thigh strain and will be out until July too.

Both Calum Chambers and Lucas Torreira remain out with long-term injuries as Chambers continues to recover from a ruptured ACL and will not be available until September at the earliest, while Torreira could return to training in early July after suffering a broken ankle in March.

Take a deep breath after all of that.

Add into the mix that David Luiz is now suspended for the trip to Brighton after his calamitous, and brief, cameo off the bench against Man City — a mistake for the opening goal, giving away a penalty kick and a red card all in the space of 25 minutes — and he may leave the club on a free transfer on June 30, which leaves Arteta woefully short of center backs.

Arsenal handles Portsmouth to advance in FA Cup

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Arsenal clinched the first spot in the quarterfinals of the 2020 FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Monday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Eddie Nketiah scored for the Gunners, whose 13 tournament titles are the most in the history of the competition.

Arsenal hosts West Ham United on Saturday.


Three things we learned

1. Gunners steady despite Europa ouster: Arsenal’s home disappointment to Olympiacos in the Europa League last week might’ve been its only hope of Champions League football. There was plenty of focus on how the Gunners would react, even given substandard competition, and Mikel Arteta‘s men did well enough. Seventy-five percent of the ball and only one big chance allowed show a real professional win, even if their attackers’ finishing deprived them of a blowout score line.

2. Pablo Mari makes solid first impression: Arsenal’s January addition took some time to get up to speed because Flamengo was out-of-season when he arrived from Brazil. The towering former Man City center back didn’t have a ton to do and was credited with 100 touches, five clearances, three blocks, 89 percent passing, and a quality 12-of-16 connection on long balls. Promising, albeit against a League One side.

3. Torreira injured: Lucas Torreira needed to be removed from the match with a lowe leg injury after tangling legs with Pompey’s James Bolton. A trainer was shown holding his ankle in place and Dani Ceballos took his place, though reports said he did not require a hospital visit. Torreira has played in all but three of Arsenal’s Premier League matches this season.

Man of the Match: Martinelli was clever and Mari’s strong debut adds sentimentality to the shout, but Sokratis was probably the Gunners’ top player.


Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli drove the end line to cut back for Eddie Nketiah but the chance resulted in a corner.

The Gunners went ahead when Reiss Nelson crossed into the traffic from the right flank and Sokratis burst onto the ball to smash home.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Pompey had some good moments in the latter stages of the first half, and would’ve been content to be down one.

Arsenal made it 2-0 with the help of some poor defending, Nketiah running onto a cross and keeping his cool as the ball bobbled in traffic.

Arsenal sign defender Mari on loan from Flamengo

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


Amid an ongoing and injury crisis at center back, Arsenal have signed defender Pablo Mari on loan from Brazilian club Flamengo until the end of the season.

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Th 26-year-old Spaniard spent three seasons on the books at Manchester City, where he never made a first-team appearance and instead was sent out on loan three times, before moving to Flamengo last summer. Flamengo won both the Brazilian league title and the Copa Libertadores during his six months at the club.

Mari’s loan agreement has an option to make the move permanent this summer.

[ MORE: Woodward’s house attacked by Man United fans with flares ]

Arsenal have been without defenders Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney, for quite some time due to injuries. Shkodran Mustafi went down with an ankle injury during Monday’s FA Cup victory over Bournemouth and will miss some time as well.

Report: Arsenal in talks to sign Mari

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Arsenal are still in talks to sign Spanish center back Pablo Mari despite the player returning to Brazilian club Flamengo after being in London.

Our partners at Sky Sports in the UK believe that the plan was always for Mari to return to Brazil as Arsenal and the reigning Brazilian champions are locked in talks about an initial loan deal for the 26-year-old.

The deal would be a loan with an option to buy in the summer and would give Mikel Arteta some much-needed depth in central defense.

Mari moved to Man City in 2016 but never played for City as he was loaned out to Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna before he left City last summer on a permanent deal to Flamengo. He has since won the Brazilian title and Copa Libertadores with Flamengo and played in the FIFA Club World Cup final against Liverpool as they lost 1-0 in extra time.

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

With Callum Chambers out injured until next season, plus David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis out of form, Arteta’s main aim is to shore things up at the back.

Since he arrived in December the Gunners have become tougher to beat and are playing with more energy but individual errors, especially defensively, continue to cost them dear as they sit 10 points off the top four with 14 games to go.

If Arsenal can improved defensively then a top four push, or at the very least a run to the Europa League final, isn’t out of the question and adding Mari or another center back is key for Arteta in the final days of the window.

Arsenal have been linked with Jerome Boateng, Dayot Upamecano, Mykola Matviyenko, John Stones and many other center backs this month but it seems like a deal for Mari would perhaps be the easiest to get over the line before Friday’s deadline.