Gelson Martins has decided to join Atletico Madrid instead of Arsenal, with a deal to move to Spain all but confirmed, according to reports in the country.
Spanish outlet AS write that it can be taken for granted that Martins will join the Europa League champions next season, after negotiations with the player came to a successful end. The club aren’t ready to make it official quite yet, but both parties are satisfied with the agreement they’ve reached, and it seems it’s only a matter of time now.
In recent months, the media linked Arsenal to a move for the player, with reports that the Portuguese club turned two €30m bids down. Then, as a result of the recent training ground attack on Sporting CP, Martins requested the termination of his contract, invoking ‘just cause’, as confirmed by the club itself.
We’re still waiting for formal confirmation that his request is valid, but the strong links to Atletico Madrid suggest it is.
The latest reliable update we had on the player was from his agent, who confirmed on social media that Martins would not be joining SL Benfica, one of Sporting’s Portuguese league rivals.
Unfortunately, he seems to be turning Arsenal down too, if the Gunners really were ever interested. We’ll have to wait for official confirmation of his next move.