According to reports in Brazil via the Daily Star, Arsenal are on the verge of announcing a £6m deal to sign Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano with the Brazilian youngster arriving on a five-year contract.
Unai Emery is going to be a busy man over the coming weeks as he needs to revamp his ageing Arsenal squad after a disappointing debut campaign in England that saw him lead us to fifth in the Premier League and get beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League final.
After missing out on Champions League qualification, the Gunners boss only has around £40m to spend, if reports are accurate, but it looks like Emery is ready to spend a chunk of his transfer kitty on a Brazilian wonderkid.
Gabriel Martinelli has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal after emerging as one of the most in-demand youngsters in South American football having broken into the Ituano first team last year following his move from Corinthians in 2015.
The teenage attacker contributed 10 goals and 6 assists in his 31 appearances last season and his huge potential alerted a number of top European clubs with the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd and Barcelona all named as potential suitors.
However, Arsenal emerged as the front runners and the Daily Star are now citing a report from Globo Esporte that claims Martinelli is set to be announced as our first major signing of the summer.
The Brazilian outlet says the forward has agreed terms over a five-year contract after Arsenal sealed a £6m deal with Ituano but the formal announcement had been delayed until the player turned 18.
Martinelli’s 18th birthday was today [Tuesday 18th June] so the report says Arsenal are now free to conclude the deal and we’re expected to unveil the Brazilian attacker over the coming days.
With Danny Welbeck leaving when contract expires at the end of the month, we need to strengthen our attacking options and it looks like Martinelli is set to arrive in what will be something of a coup from Arsenal.
The youngster doesn’t require a work permit as he holds an Italian passport so Martinelli will be free to play immediately and he could take part in our pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood in early July.