The Gunners are desperate for fresh faces this summer as they look to bounce back after missing out on Champions League football.
Former midfielder Edu has been drafted in as technical director and the Brazilian has been tasked with being the middleman between Unai Emery and director of football Raul Sanllehi.
And Edu has used his contacts in his homeland to secure Arsenal their first signing of the summer.
The north London side are close to sealing a £6m deal to bring in Martinelli from Ituano.
The 17-year-old has impressed for the Sao Paolo side and Edu, alongside head of international recruitment Francis Cagigao, has engineered a deal to sign the striker.
Italian journalist Nicolo Schira tweeted: “The first purchase of Edu for Arsenal will be an amazing young talent: Gabriel Martinelli.
“Gunners agreed to a deal which will see the Brazilian striker arrive in the summer from ItuanoFC after he will turn 18.”
A work permit will not be required due to the player’s Italian heritage.
“The first purchase of Edu for Arsenal will be an amazing young talent: Gabriel Martinelli.”
Italian journalist Nicolo Schira
Martinelli is expected to spend his first season at Arsenal developing in the under-18s.
But according to Football London, he could make his debut for the club in their first pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood on July 8.
And if he impresses, Emery may consider taking him on the club’s tour of America.
Funds are expected to be tight at the Emirates this summer and bargain buys like Martinelli may represent Emery’s summer transfer strategy.
Arsenal need to improve their leaky defence, as well as bring in replacements for the departing Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck.
Top players could be reluctant to join following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal may have to sell players in order to finance any incomings this window.
And Starsport understands Emery will demand Mesut Ozil is sold when he meets with club chiefs this week.