Arsenal loanee reveals he does NOT want to return to Arsenal when his contract expires.  > Football >  Arsenal loanee reveals he does NOT want to return to Arsenal when his contract expires. 

Arsenal Udinese loanee Pablo Mari still has two years ars on his contract at Emirates Stadium, but has indicated he’d be happy to stay in Serie A when his current loan deal with Udinese expires.

Pablo Mari has enjoyed his start to life in Italy. (Getty Images)

The 28-year-old centre-back joined Udinese on loan in the January transfer window following a lack of game time in north London and has gone on to make eight Serie A appearances for them.

When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,’ Mari told  La Gazzetta dello Sport.

‘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.

‘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.’

Pressed on why he enjoys living in Italy more than in England, Mari replied:

“I have already seen Porto Cervo in the summer and Venice since I have been in Udine. Beautiful. Then in England, everything closes at five.”

Mari joined Arsenal on an initial loan deal from Brazilian club Flamengo in January 2020 before the move was made permanent in the summer that year.

He has gone on to make 19 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners, scoring just once in a 4-1 win against Rapid Vienna in last season’s Europa League.