Pablo Mari has touched down in London ahead of his surprise move to Arsenal and confirmed he is looking forward to joining the Gunners.
The Spanish centre-back, who was previously at Manchester City but never played for the club, emerged as a shock target on Friday after Arsenal accelerated talks with Flamengo.
Although the Brazilian side had been reluctant to lose such an important player, Arsenal technical director Edu flew to his homeland to wrap up a deal.
Arsenal are believed to be paying around £7million to sign Mari, which represents a big profit on the £1m Flamengo paid City only last summer.
The 26-year-old was pictured at Rio de Janeiro airport with Edu on Friday evening and boarded a plan to London, touching down at Heathrow on Saturday lunchtime – where he was greeted by several reporters.
Goal.com grabbed a brief word with the defender as he came through the arrivals gate with Edu, asking if he was excited to sign for Arsenal, and he effectively confirmed the move saying: ‘Yeah of course!’
Mari said his goodbyes to his teammates and the coaching staff at Flamengo on Friday and will now undergo a medical at London Colney before penning personal terms. He quickly became a fan favourite at the Brazilian club, anchoring the defence as they won the Copa Libertadores – becoming the first Spaniard to win the storied South American competition.
Pablo Mari has just arrived at Heathrow with Edu and he tell me he is excited to be joining Arsenal.
Medical to take place this weekend. pic.twitter.com/6VY1RM3wJL
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 25, 2020