Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Man Utd were among the clubs who “wanted” to sign Gabriel Martinelli before his move to Arsenal was finalised.
Around £6m was splashed out by Arsenal to sign Martinelli in 2019 from Brazilian side Ituano.
The 21-year-old quickly proved why so many clubs were in the race to sign him as he hit the ground running in an Arsenal shirt.
It has not all been good going for the winger, though. He suffered a knee injury in 2020 and he was out of action for around six months.
Martinelli’s game stepped up a level from the start of the 2021/22 campaign as he helped Arsenal push for the Champions League.
The Gunners missed out on the top four but they look well-set to make it into the Champions League this time around.
Gabriel Jesus’ arrival has helped to get the best out of Martinelli and Bukayo Saka as the three players are forming a fearsome front three.
Martinelli is on track to enjoy his best season for Arsenal to date. He already sits on four goals and two assists in nine Premier League games.
The Gunners may have a battle on their hands to keep Martinelli long-term. His current contract expires in 2024.
Arsenal are keen to tie Martinelli, Saka and William Saliba down to new deals.
It is now being suggested that Martinelli is demanding Arsenal treble his wages, though he has stated publicly that he wants to remain at the club.
Romano has now revealed that Man Utd “wanted” Martinelli back in 2019 but Arsenal “did a fantastic job” to sign him:
“Gabriel Martinelli is one of the players of the moment, so how did Arsenal get him ahead of other top clubs who also knew about his potential when he was a teenager?” Romano wrote for Caught Offside.
“Manchester United wanted him, as did many clubs also in other countries. Teams in Italy and Spain had the chance to sign Martinelli.
“But Arsenal did a fantastic job as they’re very good with young talents. They explained to him the project for present and future and he was really happy about that.
“And now, I think he could extend his stay further. Martinelli spoke to the English press after Arsenal’s win over Liverpool and he confirmed his intentions very clearly – he wants to stay at Arsenal. His agents are already in discussions over a new contract.
“Arsenal want to extend him and Bukayo Saka – another top young player who’s very happy with everything at Arsenal.
“The project looks fantastic and this is why Saka and Martinelli both want to continue. Work is in progress on both players to determine the salary and the length of the deals.”
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