Arsenal have reportedly finalised a deal to bring 17-year-old winger, Gabriel Martinelli, to the club in the summer with the announcement expected after he obtains his Italian passport in the next four weeks.
Earlier this month it was reported that Arsenal were the favourites to sign the Ituano midfielder Martinelli despite interest from 25 different clubs, according to reports in Brazil.
Globo Esporte reported that Arsenal ‘should be the fate’ of Martinelli after the conclusion of the Campeonato Paulista in the coming months. The Gunners reportedly sent a scout to watch the teenager on a couple of occasions, during the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior and the Campeonato Paulista match against Palmeiras.
Now, Yahoo Sports in the country are reporting the deal is done and that “the English team is only waiting for the player’s Italian passport to be ready to make the announcement.
Martinelli’s agent Marcos Casseb confirmed that 25 clubs were interested in his client, eight in Brazil and 17 in Europe. Casseb also admitted their plan is to ‘go straight to Europe’.
At the time of that report, however, it was going to take until June to get the Italian passport sorted.
For now, Martinelli will continue to play in the Campeonato Paulista, in which he’s scored six goals and assisted three in 11 games so far. That’s one off the competition’s top scorer Jean Mota (seven goals) and two off the top assister Aderlan (five assists). Not bad for such a young player.
His full name is Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva.