Udinese enter the battle for £85,000-a-week Arsenal centre-back

Pablo Mari could be among several footballers to leave the London giants in the winter transfer, with Udinese keen on signing the centre-back. The 28-year-old defender’s Gunners career has dovetailed since the earlier parts of the campaign.

Mari was chosen in the initial few matches by the Spanish manager due to other footballers’ absences, but the centre-back has never been able to contribute since. The Spanish coach lost faith in Pablo, and Mikel Arteta has continued to ignore him even for many cup ties this term.

The Spanish defender was among the substitutes when the Gunners lost to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup at the weekend, which was indicative of his fallen stock within the team. The Gunners are reportedly content with White, Holding and Gabriel as their primary defenders for the rest of the campaign.

The Spaniard has thus reached the end of the road at Arsenal, with the out-of-favour defender among the existing squad footballers expected to depart this month. Recent reports had pointed towards a potential return to Brazil for Mari, although it is now believed that Pablo would like to stay put in Europe.

The Spanish defender believes he can play at the highest level and is not too keen on returning to Brazil. The Italian club is preparing to make a dry loan offer. Pablo has a long-term deal with Arsenal lasting until 2022.