Arsenal loanee Pablo Mari has admitted he is "so happy" at Udinese and he wants to stay in Serie A beyond the end of the season.
Mari initially joined Arsenal from Flamengo for £14 million in July 2020 after a short loan spell at Emirates Stadium, but has only featured in 19 games in all competitions for the club since.
The Spanish defender was reduced to a bit-part role in Mikel Arteta's squad in the first half of the 2021-22 campaign and the Gunners sent him out on loan to Udinese in January, where he has discovered a new lease of life.
What has been said?
No option to buy was included in the deal between the two clubs, and Mari is due back in north London this summer to see out the remaining two years of his contract.
However, the 28-year-old would prefer to remain at Dacia Arena and told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I'd like to stay in Serie A next season. I'm under contract until June 2024 with Arsenal – but I'm so happy here at Udinese."
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's record at Udinese
Mari has made eight Serie A appearances for Udinese to date, all of which have come as a starter as head coach Gabriele Cioffi has quickly taken a shine to the centre-back.
The Italian side have only managed to record three wins in that time though, alongside three draws and two losses, slipping to 13th in the table as a result.