Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that a deal between Arsenal and Gelson Martins is close to completion after the winger terminated his own contract a Sporting CP.
Martins is one of six players who have reportedly terminated their own contracts at Sporting, amidst a host of problems at the Portuguese club. The club's state of crisis was made most evident just days before the Portuguese cup final last season, when fans attacked the Sporting players during a training session.
Players were left traumatised and the attack provided the just cause necessary to end their current contracts.
With a host of talent leaving Portugal on free transfers this summer, many Premier League clubs are circling looking to find value in an extremely inflated market. Wolves have already taken advantage of the situation, having secured a deal for goalkeeper Rui Patricio and now Arsenal are touted as being among the clubs seeking to benefit from Sporting's plight.
Arsenal and Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Martins since it became clear that the 23-year-old could be secured on a free transfer, and now those rumours appear to be based on more solid foundations.
Sky Sports News reporter Sheth believes that the Gunners are close to a deal to bring the winger to the Emirates this summer.
When featuring on the Sky Sports Transfer Talk podcast, Sheth said: “Gelson looks close. The transfer fits Emery’s profile. It fits Arsenal’s limited transfer budget too.”
There's no doubt a deal to bring Martins to the Emirates on a free transfer would be another savvy piece of business for Unai Emery's side. Martins is a skilful winger who's willingness to run at his apposing number would add an element of variation to Arsenal's attacking options.
Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are currently the only players capable of playing on the wing on the Arsenal books, but none of whom possess the same skills that Martins would offer.
Arsenal, however, will face stiff competition for Martins's services.
Liverpool are shortlisted as the favourites to sign Martins this summer, while there other clubs will no doubt be attracted by the lack of a fee that a deal would require.