Arsenal are on the verge of completing their first signing of the summer transfer window, in a £6m deal for young Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli.
The Gunners missed out on Champions League football for next season after finishing fifth in the Premier League and subsequently losing to Chelsea in the Europa League final. As a result of their failure to get back into Europe’s top competition, the Gunners and are not expected to have a large transfer budget available this summer – with £40m an oft-touted figure.
However, former Arsenal midfielder Edu is set to be announced as the club’s technical director and the Brazilian is already working with manager Unai Emery and director of football Raul Sanllehi in bringing new players to the Emirates, with Martinelli likely to be the first signing of the summer.
According to football.london, Edu and Arsenal’s head of recruitment Francis Cagigao have engineered the move to sign the highly rated Martinelli from Sao Paolo side Ituano.
A work permit isn’t required due to Martinelli’s Italian heritage, with the 17-year-old expected to play for Arsenal’s Under-18 side next season.
The report adds that the youngster could make his debut for the Arsenal as soon as 8 July in a pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood at Meadow Park.That outing may determine whether Emery chooses to take him on the club’s pre-season tour of the US.
Martinelli became Ituano’s youngest-ever debutant in March 2018 when he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Sao Bento at just 16 years of age.
Arsenal are set to unveil the signing of Martinelli once he turns 18 later this month.