Arsenal are preparing a £4m offer for 17-year-old Ituano midfielder Gabriel Martinelli, according to reports.

Gabriel Martinelli (Photo via Goal)
Gabriel Martinelli (Photo via Goal)

Goal report that they understand Arsenal are prepared to make their first bid for the Brazilian teenager, who is close to obtaining an Italian passport. That would help the club circumnavigate the usual work permit issues involved with signing players from outside Europe.

Martinelli is certainly making a big impression in Brazil right now. Nine games into the 2019 Campeonato Paulista, he’s currently the competition’s top assist provider with a total of three, and he’s also scored three goals as well.

The youngster also scored six goals in four games in the last edition of the Sao Paulo Junior Football Cup.

In the past, Martinelli has held trials with Barcelona and Manchester United. Although neither club ended up signing him at the time, he’s clearly caught Arsenal’s eye in the process. The club’s board have already signed off on the transfer.

Martinelli has always been a player of great potential, reportedly scoring over 200 goals at youth level with Corinthians, before adding 14 goals in 13 games with Ituano’s u17s. It’s no surprise he was promoted to the first team, and the fact he’s still having success at senior level is a promising sign.

Arsenal’s academy could be just the place to take him to the next level. We’ll see.