Reports from Brazil suggest that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano.
That is according to UOL who report that Arsenal have won the race to sign the 17 year old, ahead of Brazilian clubs like Flamengo and Santos, as well as European rivals like Barcelona. Martinelli had a trial with Manchester United in 2017, and is now set to move to England after extensive talks between Arsenal and his representatives. One sticking point was his economic rights – Ituano wanted to keep a portion of them, but Arsenal flatly refused, and the Gunners appear to have won that argument.
A separate report indicates that Martinelli is in the process of acquiring an Italian passport before he turns 18 in June, which means that he will not face work permit issues as he finalises a move to play in England.
Martinelli can play on either wing and scored six goals earlier this year in the Campeonato Paulista, the Sao Paolo state league.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.