Arsenal reach 'agreement' over striker transfer: Announcement in 'coming days'

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The deal to sign Martinelli from Brazilian club Ituano is set to be Arsenal’s first foray into the transfer market this summer, with the youngster expected to join the club in a deal worth around £6million once he turns 18.

Martinelli has been monitored by European clubs since the age of 12 and even had trials at Manchester United and Barcelona.

However, Unai Emery’s side look to have beaten off competition for the attacker’s signature and Gunners fans will be hoping the signing signals a flurry of transfer business from the club.

Martinelli will want to replicate the success of Brazilian stars like Neymar and Gabriel Jesus who have all impressed since moving to Europe while relatively young.

Last year was an impressive season for Martinelli who found the back of the net six times in the Paulista Championship with the former Corinthians futsal player helping Ituano top group D.

Although they were knocked out by in the quarter-finals by Sao Paulo, Martinelli was named the tournament’s young player of the season and awarded a spot in their team of the year.

To top off what was an outstanding breakthrough year, he was called up by Brazil manager Tite to train with the country’s senior team.

Clearly an immensely talented footballer, it will be interesting to see whether he will play any part with the senior team next season or if he will return on loan to Ituano.

Martinelli qualifies for an Italian passport through his father which means the Gunners will not need to go to the trouble of securing him a work permit which will certainly help them finalise the deal. 

The player’s agent Marcos Casseb recently told Globo Esporte of Martinelli’s ambition to play in Europe and it now appears that his dream is about to be come true.

“To be honest we expected this to happen,” Casseb said. “His evolution since last year is very fast, he is above average.

“The initial planning is for him to go straight to Europe.”

The deal is said to be viewed as somewhat of a coup by Arsenal’s transfer chiefs and Francis Cagigao, the club’s head of international recruitment, is responsible for driving through the signing.

Cagigao has strong contacts in South America and personally flew to Brazil to scout Martinelli multiple times.

The 49-year-old has been heading up Arsenal’s scouting network since the departure of former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and is in the running to replace him permanently.

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