Arsenal are on the verge of signing 17-year-old Ituano forward Gabriel Martinelli, according to reports in the English media.
The Daily Mail write that Martinelli has been lined up as the club’s first summer signing of Unai Emery’s continued squad rebuild. They say the wide man is ‘on the verge of committing himself’ to Arsenal.
This fits with rumours in late March, when it was claimed Arsenal had finalised a deal to sign the player, but they were just waiting on Martinelli obtaining his Italian passport. There have been differing reports on how long that would take, with some rumours he’ll have it this month, and others that it won’t be until June.
Martinelli drew a lot of attention in this year’s Campeonato Paulista, as he scored six goals and assisted three in 14 appearances. That put him just one goal off the competition’s top scorer and two assists off the top assist provider, despite his age.
Unfortunately, Ituano went out of the competition in the quarter-final stage to Sao Paulo, who are now in the final. As a result, Martinelli has had some time off this month, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he did make some progress on his future. We’ll find out soon enough.