Confirmed: Arsenal held talks to sign defender before Pablo Mari transfer deal

first_imgArsenal chief Edu held talks to sign Walce before Pablo Mari deal in January Arsenal held discussions to sign Sao Paulo star Walce in January (Picture: Getty)Sao Paulo have confirmed that Arsenal explored a potential deal for Walce in the January transfer window. Mikel Arteta was intent on bolstering his options in central defence after Calum Chambers was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a serious knee injury and Arsenal spent the winter scouring the market for possible solutions.The Gunners went on to reach a loan agreement for 26-year-old Flamengo star Pablo Mari and the Spaniard made two appearances for the north London giants before the coronavirus pandemic forced the football season to be put on hold. Technical director Edu utilised his extensive contacts back home to get a deal over the line for Mari and it appears he wasn’t the only player on Arsenal’s radar in Brazil.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 25 Mar 2020 8:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares Commentcenter_img Edu spoke with Sao Paulo over a possible deal for Walce (Picture: Getty)Alexandre Passaro, executive manager of Sao Paulo, claims the Premier League giants held negotiations to land their 21-year-old centre-half Walce before Mari signed on the dotted line.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Walce had a proposal from Red Bull Bragantino, which we denied,’ Passaro told Brazilian media.‘Here I think I can even say that we had a conversation with Arsenal, exactly for the spot that went to Pablo Mari. ‘We were talking with Edu Gaspar.’ Advertisement Mari has made two appearances since agreeing a loan move to north London (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are strongly considering making Mari’s deal permanent in the summer – which could cost them around £13.5million – but a number of alternatives have emerged as targets over recent weeks.Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Frankfurt’s Evan N’Dicka are both being watched and reports in Italy claim Arsenal have made an offer for Chris Smalling.The Manchester United defender has impressed on loan at Roma this season which has also put the likes of Tottenham, Everton and Leicester on alert.It’s understood United are demanding a fee of at least £25million for the England international.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Arsenal move to secure future of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos amid coronavirus crisisMORE: Emmanuel Petit explains why Liverpool are more impressive than Arsenal’s Invincibleslast_img


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