According to a report from UOL, young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli is on the verge of completing a move to Arsenal.
The 17 year old forward currently plays for Ituano in the Sao Paulo state championship, and has travelled to Europe to obtain the Italian passport he’s eligible for via his father.
Arsenal very close to signing Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli. The 17-year-old has traveled to Europe to sort out the final details and issue his Italian passport. He was named Sao Paulo league best newcomer but missed the ceremony last night https://t.co/uR3nYpYAwi
— Marcus Alves (@_marcus_alves) April 23, 2019
The Gunners have apparently seen off interest from other Brazilian clubs like Flamengo and Cruzeiro, and the deal is expected to go through in June when he turns 18.
The player has been linked consistently us over the last few months, and it appears as if there’s genuinely something happening here.
The European passport allows him to join without the need for a work permit, or for Arsenal to pay a significant fee.
According to our Brazilian football expert Tim Stillman, Martinelli played in the Copinha in January, an U20 tournament which attracts scouts from all over the world, and through which former Gunner Gabriel, and Man City’s Gabriel Jesus came to the fore.
Tim says: “He was one of the best players, so Ituano put him in the first team for the state championships (which run from late January to late April) and he did really well. 6 goals and 3 assists mainly playing against much better teams. He’s a wide forward.”
So, we’ll wait and see but a Brazilian wonderkid at Arsenal next season sounds pretty tasty indeed.