By 90Min
June 18, 2019

Arsenal look set to complete the £6m signing of Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano after a long, protracted pursuit.

The Gunners have been tracking Martinelli, who is about to turn 18, for a number of months, and a deal is on the verge of being announced.

Martinelli first burst onto the scouting scene aged 12, having trials at both Barcelona and Manchester United, as well as receiving offers from several unnamed European sides. 

However, as reported by Globo Esporte, the north Londoners  have won the race to sign the youngster, with a five-year deal at the Emirates Stadium awaiting the teenager.

Born in Guarulhos, a municipality to the north of Sao Paulo, Martinelli joined the Corinthians youth set up from a young age, scoring 73 goals in 139 games all before he was 13. At that point, his family moved to Itu, and he, in turn, moved to play for the more local side of Ituano, where he scored 69 goals in 94 games for various youth sides. 

Since graduating to the senior side, he has notched an impressive ten goals and six assists in 31 games. His prospective move to Europe has been made easier by his securing of an Italian passport on a recent holiday, meaning he will not take up an allotted slot for non-EU players. 

Despite this, the youngster was still seen training with the Selecao in the build-up to this summer's Copa America, with Brazil clearly desperate to secure his loyalty.

As per Football London, it is understood that incoming technical director, and former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar, was critical to the deal being completed, though Globo Esporte have disputed this.

With diminishing funds in comparison to the rest of the top six, Arsenal have put a focus on securing promising young talent, with Martinelli the perfect fit for this new model of recruitment.

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