Arsenal Target Martinelli Applies For EU Passport

Martinelli Deal Close

Arsenal transfer news

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Martinelli is currently sorting out a European passport ahead of a move to the Emirates.

The 17-year-old winger currently plays for Brazilian side Itua and is regarded as a cut-price option for Gunners boss Unai Emery. Martinelli could cost as little as £5-8million with some Brazilian outlets claiming a deal has already been agreed between the two clubs for a figure in the middle of those two figures – £6.5million.

Any transfer is made more complicated by Martinelli not having an EU passport. However, his Italian ancestry does qualify him for a passport from that country and the application is currently under way. Players from EU countries are still expected to be able to transfer to Premier League clubs this summer without the need for a work permit as the Brexit talks drag on.

In addition, Martinelli turns 18 in June which would also make any move easier as Arsenal would not be in contravention of Fifa’s rules on the movement of under-age players.

But unless Arsenal have wrapped up a deal they could find other clubs ready to put in offers both to Martinelli and to Itua. His agent claims that no fewer than 25 clubs have shown an interest.

Reports at the end of last month suggested that Arsenal’s agreement has still only been made verbally.