Matviyenko, Pablo Mari and the Wait for a New Defender
The January transfer window comes to a close this Friday and Arsenal fans wait for a new center back to provide support to the team in the short and long term. Calum Chambers is out for the rest of the season and Skhodran Mustafi looks set to spend a lengthy layoff following his injury against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, leaving David Luiz, Sokratis and the injury-prone Rob Holding as the options in that position.
Arsenal is linked with Shakhtar’s Mykola Matviyenko and Flamengo’s Pablo Mari in the past day, but we are still hopeful for these deals to be completed before the window closes.
Pablo Mari’s situation is interesting with the back and forth discussions and negotiations going on with the player. He was spotted in the airport by Goal.com’s Arsenal correspondent, Charles Watt, who shared this tweet. The defender had his medical, which we believed was successful, but to everyone’s surprise, Pablo Mari was on a plane back to Brazil following breakdown of negotiations between Arsenal and Flamengo. According to reports, Arsenal wanted a loan move with the option to buy at the end of the season, while Flamengo wanted an outright sale.
Flamengo has also gone ahead to sign Leo Pereira, which should probably be Pablo Mari’s replacement. According to the Metro, Arsenal and Flamengo have agreed a deal to get their man and Brazilian outlet, Globo, has reported that the Spanish defender has travelled to London to complete his move to the Gunners.
The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Mykola Matviyenko and the Metro reports that a deal in principle has been agreed between Arsenal and Shakhtar for the young defender. Mikel Arteta has seen Matviyenko from the dugout when his previous club, Manchester City, played Shakhtar twice in the group stages of the Champions League.
Whether it’s Pablo Mari or Mykola Matviyenko, or both, Arsenal is in dire need of options in central defense, and I will be good to sign players that will have a long term future with the club, especially with the fact that Sokratis (31) and David Luiz (33) are reaching the twilight of their careers. Their presence will be helpful in bringing the young defenders up to speed but I’m certain that their deals will not be renewed at the end of next season.
We will monitor the situation and will be hopeful that these deals get across the finish line on or before Friday.
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