Barcelona have reportedly joined rivals Real Madrid and Premier League club Manchester United in pursuit of Sporting CP’s talented winger Gelson Martins.
Spanish publication Sport have revealed that Barcelona are interested in highly rated young Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins. The Catalan side join the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United reported to be keen on the 21-year-old, who has received a call-up to the senior Portugal squad after impressing this season.
As earlier reported, the player’s performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage match at Santiago Bernabeu drew the attention of the club’s hierarchy towards the exciting prospect while former Los Blancos manager Jose Mourinho is also keeping tabs on the player’s progress and monitoring the developments surrounding the 21-year-old.
But, as Sport’s reported, Barcelona are the only team to confirm their interest in the player with Ariedo Braida confirming that the Catalan club is monitoring the player.
“What I can say is that Gelson Martins is being observed by us. This is a young man with a lot of talent that Barcelona has observed and we will continue to do so. I can not hide that Gelson Martins is a target,” Braida told Portuguese newspaper Record, as translated by 101greatgoals.
The Italian, though, added, “A January signing? No. We’re just watching him, we’ve not even spoken with anyone about Gelson. We’re just limited to observing his performances. I won’t lie to you, we’re following him, but we aren’t negotiating with anyone. Many players disappear with time, others grow. Gelson Martins has the potential to be a great player and we will see how he evolves.”
The above statement may mean that a move for January is highly unlikely and that the Catalan hierarchy would look to see how the player develops for a while before going in with a real offer, which gives other clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United a window to steal the player without much hassle from Barcelona’s end.