Arsenal were said to be one of the clubs with an interest in 20-year-old Brazil centre-forward Brenner but he has now signed for FC Cincinnati.
Calciomercato.it reported that Arsenal joined the likes of Ajax, Juventus, Lazio, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain in following young Brazilian forward Brenner.
The player was reportedly of particular interest to European clubs because he had the potential to get an Italian passport through his maternal ancestry. If you remember, that’s the same way Gabriel Martinelli avoided needing a work permit to join Arsenal.
Brenner scored 17 goals with three assists in 33 appearances for Sao Paulo this season before his move. He’s represented his country at various youth levels, but he’s still waiting for a senior call-up. It’s fair to say there’s quite a bit of competition in the Brazil national team.
“I’m very excited to be (in Cincinnati soon),” the striker said via a translator. “I’m a very fun guy, and I can’t wait to meet new people … I like to smile a lot, I’m always happy and this is the way I live my life.
“Last year was a very good year for me,” he said. “I was feeling very comfortable on the field and very well with my teammates. Everything was flowing really well and I hope I can keep going in the same flow in Cincinnati.
“I thought it was crazy how fanatic the fans were for such a new team,” the forward added. “I like to feel the adrenaline. That’s going to boost my confidence to give everything back to the fans.
“I’ve been part of the national team since I was 15 years old. I was also invited to training for one of the World Cup preparation (practices) with Neymar and all the big names. I’ve always been a fan of that and proving myself. The São Paulo youth academy, it’s such a big club in Brazil, I owe the club a lot for that and the club prepared me for this moment.”
Brenner in demand
With three goals since Brenner was first linked in November, it’s no surprise the transfer rumours have surfaced. As a strong finisher who can hold onto the ball well, and is a threat in the air despite his 5’9″ height, you can understand why Arsenal were in the mix too.
Brenner reportedly has a €50m release clause for clubs from abroad, but Sao Paulo could negotiate a lower fee. With under two years left on his contract, it’s starting to reach the point where they need to cash in or extend.
How much did Brenner cost?
According to transfermarkt, the forward, who can also play at number 10 and on the left wing, is valued at just £1.17m.
He was contracted to Sao Paulo until the end of 2022 and cost FC Cincinnati £10.64m, making him one of the most expensive players in MLS history.
How much did Arsenal pay for Gabriel Martinelli?
The Brazilian forward was Arsenal’s first transfer of the summer 2019 window but how much did Arsenal pay for Gabriel Martinelli?
Martinell’s’ arrival was expected with the deal completed long before this announcement. He was supposed to cost around €7.5m but it seems as if Arsenal have managed to land him for just over €6m, although he no doubt arrived with a large sell-on clause in his five-year contract, which has since been renewed.
- Full name: Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva
- Age: 19 (18 June, 2001)
- Birthplace: Guarulhos, Brazil
- Nationality: Brazilian (but could represent Italy)
- Height: 5ft 11 (1.8m)
- Shirt number: 35
- Signed on: 2 July, 2019
- Signed until: 30 June, 2024
- Transfer fee: £6.03m
- Wages: £1.1m-per-year, £21k-per-week
- Nickname: Gab
Speaking to the Arsenal site after signing, Martinelli said, “It is a dream since I was a child and also my family’s dream for me to be playing in Europe and playing for a big team like Arsenal. I am going to take this opportunity.”
The reason for holding off with his announcement was likely to do with the new kit being launched on 1 July. If Arsenal had announced him before, he would have had to pose in the Puma kit.
Arsenal scouts watched the player a lot and held conversations with him back in February 2019. Martinelli spoke to other Premier League clubs at the same time, but none of them were apparently as convincing as Arsenal.
Martinelli caught the eye in last year’s Campeonato Paulista, when 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 young age.
It’s a different prospect playing at the top level in English football, but Arsenal’s scouting team are were clearly convinced he had the talent, soemthing we’ve all seen for ourselves.
Martinelli’s move was reportedly connected to Edu’s arrival later the same month as technical director.
From what we’ve seen so far, you’d be hard pushed to say they were wrong.