Arsenal are still negotiating a price
The news breaking from the Flamengo side of the deal is that Arsenal did not have the money to complete the deal, and instead decided to negotiate a loan deal at the last minute.
There are two parts to this theory.
The first is that Arsenal do not have the money to complete the deal. That is rubbish.
£7.5million is not big money for a club like Arsenal. And we would not have bought him across from Brazil to England if we were unable to afford the transfer fee. It would have just been a huge waste of everyone’s time.
The second part that we now want a loan deal has some legs to it.
We can afford £7.5million transfer fee, but it had been widely speculated from day one that we favoured a 6 month loan deal. It is logically that we are now playing hard ball, seeing if Flamengo will crack 1st and agree to a loan deal rather than a permanent move.
It is like a game of poker. Who will fold first? Will Arsenal cough up the £7.5million, or will Flamengo agree to a loan deal?
Flamengo have moved the goal posts
Why would Flamengo let their centre back fly to England for a medical a few days before their pre-season begins if they had not agreed the fee?
There have been a couple of rumours circulating that the deal for £7.5million has been agreed, but then Flamengo demanded more.
It won’t be the first time a selling club have raised their asking price at the last minute.
A failed medical
Pablo Mari will not be the first player to have failed a medical.
Liverpool had gone as far as taking pictures of Nabil Fekir a few years ago. His medical raised an underlying knee issue and the deal was off.
Loic Remy joined Liverpool on tour in USA and had been with Brendan Rodgers’ side for around a week expecting to complete an £8.5m move from QPR to the Reds.
To the surprise of QPR boss Redknapp and Remy the deal fell through with Liverpool pulling out claiming he failed a medical due to a heart problem.
Demba Ba has not just failed one but two medicals throughout his career. When playing for Hoffenheim Demba Ba first failed a medical in a move to Vfb Stuggart and later Ba failed a medical in a proposed move to Stoke in 2011.
It would not be under Arsenal’s remit to announce the failed medical. Doctor / Patient confidentiality and all that. It would be down to Mari’s people and his employers.
Other defensive options
There was plenty of logic behind signing Pablo Mari. But it is also logical that in the last few days, one of Arsenal’s major defensive targets has come available, and we have dropped our interest in Mari to pursue a better, longer term option in the closing days of the transfer window.
The deal is simply not complete
Perhaps the most logical reason why Mari is back in Brazil is that the plan was always for him to come across to London, have a medical, and then fly back home.
With him not having played for a month, Arsenal might have wanted to judge his fitness and ability to make an instant impact, before completing negotiations.
Following Shkodran Mustafi’s injury against Bournemouth, Mikel Arteta said “We have a very clear intention of what we wanted to do in the market with the resources we have. If we can do it that’s fine but his fitness won’t change that”
Signing a short term option in defence was always the aim this January. The incoming player was likely to replace Mustafi. Now instead of him replacing Mustafi who leaves on an outgoing transfer, he will replace Mustafi due to injury.
The only thing Mustafi changes is the pendulum has swung towards Flamengo if the clubs are still negotiating, as Arsenal are a little more desperate.
Likelihood is the deal will go through and all those who criticised the club after he flew back based on some lies from attention seekers on Twitter will delete their tweets.
Note: And within minutes of this blog being published it was announced that Mari is flying back to England to complete his deal. Thus highlighting that Charles Watts had it spot on. The plan was always for him to go back to Brazil following his medical.