The Gunners have beaten the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United to lure the Brazilian.
After sealing their spot in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, it’s back to Premier League action for Arsenal this weekend. Unai Emery’s side host Crystal Palace in a London derby on Sunday looking to maintain their bid for a top-four finish.
The Gunners moved back into the Champions League spots on Monday night with a 1-0 win at Watford, only their second victory in the league away from Emirates Stadium in 2019. Finish in top 4 is crucial for Emery and his men. Unai Emery will only have £40million to spend if he fails to secure Champions League football next season. Even if he qualifies, his budget would only be about £60m. It seems Arsenal are already in the market and are close to signing this wonder kid.
Arsenal have identified their first summer signing if reports are to be believed. According to the Daily Mail, former Gunners midfielder Edu is being lined up to become the club’s new technical director following failed moves for Monchi and Marc Overmars in recent months.
Furthermore, the report states that the Brazilian’s first signing could be Ituano wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli. Gabriel Martinelli could be the next product of Brazilian football, following in the footsteps of Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Richarlison who have all made the switch to Europe at a relatively young age.
Described as a quick and skilful player who is comfortable playing as a second striker or as a winger with an eye for goal, Gabriel Martinelli could be the type of player many Arsenal fans have been crying out for in recent years.
The north London outfit have been linked with a number of wingers since Emery was appointed, with Lille star Nicolas Pepe a name constantly mentioned in the rumour mill. Martinelli can play anywhere across the front three and scored 10 goals in 32 appearances for Ituano last season. Arsenal are likely to pay around £6.5 million for the player. Martinelli’s career began with the Corinthians’ futsal team and signed his first professional contract with Ituano in November 2017 which is set to run all the way until October 2022.
Last month reports claimed the Gunners were prepared to offer €5 million for the 17-year-old which could prove to be a sticking point between the two clubs as it’s thought he is valued by Ituano at approximately €10m. Although the report did state that the club’s board have already signed off on the move for the winger and are looking at advancing their offer of €5m in order to meet Ituano’s demands.
Head coach Unai Emery is expected to address a number of positions within his squad – most notably in defence – but this season has shown just how much a natural wide-man is needed. Emery would be happy with the way the transfer business started and would like to sign a centre back as well.