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Arsenal player tells Mikel Arteta he does not want to return from loan spell

by rks2008


Pablo Mari has told Arsenal he does not want to return following his move to Udinese.

The 28-year-old joined the Serie A club in January on a loan deal for the remainder of the season after failing to secure a regular role under Mikel Arteta.

Mari, who joined Arsenal on an initial loan deal from Brazilian side Flamengo before the move was made permanent for a £7 million fee in 2020, will still have two years remaining on his contract with the Gunners this summer.

Following his stint in Italy, Mari is expected to head back to Arsenal at the end of the season but the defender has indicated that he would prefer to stay put.

‘When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,’ Mari said in an interview with Gazetta dello Sport.

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‘I told the coach and [club owner] Gino Pozzo that I was coming to play.

But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, workout after workout. Head coach Cioffi was the first who welcomed me, well, here.

‘It’s the right league for me. Very tactical. I try to bring the attacker towards me.

‘I really like having the ball and here it can be done and then there is the battle and I like having a battle on the pitch. I would like to stay in Italy.’

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At the start of the current league campaign, Mari was given game time as Arsenal battled an injury crisis in defence.

But poor performances against Brentford and Chelsea, where he failed to control Ivan Toney and Romelu Lukaku, spelled the end of his run in the team.

At Udinese, Mari has started eight of their last nine games as he tries to relaunch his career alongside former Premier League stars Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra.

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He added: ‘I’m very well at Udinese and I’d be happy to take the club even higher in the standings. Of course, I still have a two-year contract with Arsenal.

‘I’ve resumed playing continuously after the operation on my left ankle where I was out for five months.’

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