Arsenal’s Pablo Mari is close to agreeing a loan switch to Udinese, joining Filip Benkovic, who recently left Leicester City.
The Spaniard started in the Gunners’ first two Premier League games this season – two 2-0 defeats by Brentford and Chelsea – before last featuring in a 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Wimbledon back in September.
Unfortunately for Mari, that was his last appearance for the club and he has since fallen out of favour and down the pecking order behind Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Out of favour Arsenal defender Pablo Mari is set to join Italian side Udinese on loan
Mari featured for the club earlier in the season but has since been shunted out of the side
However, with Arsenal not participating in any European competitions this season, cup appearances have been hard to come by and illness ruled him out for the Carabao Cup fourth-round win over Leeds before he was sidelined for their quarter-final victory over Sunderland due to testing positive Covid.
The 28-year-old now looks set to depart the club to seek regular first-team football, which he has struggled to find since joining the Gunners permanently in the summer of 2020, following a brief loan spell.
Mari was Mikel Arteta’s first signing as Arsenal boss, and agreed in the deal was that the north London club would have to pay Brazilian club Flamengo £865,000 each time he made 10 Premier League appearances, reaching up to a maximum of 80 outings.
Mari will be set to link up with Benkovic, who is also heading off to the Italian outfit, having left Leicester after an agreement to cancel the remaining term of his contract was reached.
Filip Benkovic has left Leicester after cancelling his contract and is heading off to Udinese
Benkovic only featured for Leicester twice in his three-and-a-half years at the club
The 24-year-old joined Leicester from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2018 for a fee of £13million.
But in the three-and-a-half years since then, the one-time Croatia international has managed to play for Leicester only twice.
He did spent a season on loan at Celtic where he made 20 appearances and won the treble.
The Croatian also spent spells at Bristol City, Cardiff City and OH Leuven but only played 11 times in total across three seasons.
Benkovic much like Mari will see this as an opportunity to reinvigorate his career.