Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have not yet make a final decision on whether to release Gabriel Martinelli for the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament in Colombia which runs from 18 January to 9 February.
Martinelli was selected to represent his country’s under-23s for the first time during the October Interlull and is wanted for the upcoming games. However, with the fixtures falling outside the usual international window, it’s thought the club are under no obligation to let him go.
Asked about the situation in his weekly press conference, Arteta said: “In the middle of the season it’s never ideal for players to go to that type of tournament.
“We’ll discuss with the club whether there’s an obligation, whether that’s something that the player really wants to go to and we’ll make a decision on that.”
On Tuesday, the Brazil Football Federation shared images of the under-23 squad in training. Martinelli was still in London having featured for the Gunners against Leeds United in the FA Cup 3rd round the night before.
We’d be surprised if he pushed to be involved this month. That said, he could be a doubt for the start of next season if his country qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics and he’s selected. The Games last from 24 July to 9 August.