Arsenal reach deal to sign Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli

Aveek Chakraborty

Bengaluru, April 25: Arsenal are ready to welcome the first signing of the Summer as reports in Brazil state that the Gunners have reached an agreement to sign 17-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano.

The Gunners have been keeping tabs on the Ituano forward who had a trial with Manchester United in 2017.

Barcelona have also been linked with a swoop for the 17-year-old but as per latest reports, it is Arsenal who have finally secured the signature of Martinelli.

The north Londoners apparently also beat off competition from a host of Brazilian sides including Flamengo, Cruzeiro and Santos for the starlet's signature after a month of detailed summaries.

The transfer fee for the youngster is yet to be confirmed but it is rumoured to be in between €4m-10m.

The attacker is reportedly now close to obtaining an Italian passport to secure a work permit and it's expected he'll be officially announced as an Arsenal player in June when he turns 18.

Reported as a fast and skilled player who is comfortable playing as a second striker or as a winger with an eye for goal, the Brazilian hotshot could be the exact type of player many Arsenal fans have been crying out for in recent years.

The teenager started his career with Corinthians but has spent the last four years in the academy at Ituano. He scored six goals and assisted three in 14 appearances in this year's Campeonato Paulista which put him just one goal off the competition's top scorer and two assists off the top assist provider, despite his young age.

Emery always has an eye for young talents. Last Summer, he too shelled out money for youngster Guendouzi from French second division side who certainly has been a hit. Now in the coming transfer window looks like he is again following the same path.

Martinelli is likely to be a star for the future, rather than an immediate first-team player in Unai Emery's side.

Should he make a move, he will be the next product of Brazilian football after Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Richarlison who have all made the switch to Europe at a relatively tender age.

Emery is assumed to address a number of positions within his squad in Summer - most notably in defence. The Gunners are expected to make some massive changes in the squad which could see them cutting as many as seven stars.

The Spanish manager, however, is expected to work on a tight budget in the Summer. Although, the club's transfer budget is yet to be determined and is highly dependent on the club's chances of reaching the top four or winning the Europa League but some of the reports have claimed that a mere budget of around £45m will be provided and rest of the money has to be gathered via players sale.

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