Arsenal and Manchester United could reportedly go head to head in the race to sign Brazilian sensation Matheus Martinelli from Fluminense in the summer transfer window.
According to a report fromm Brazilian publication Globoesporte, Arsenal and Manchester United have made an enquiry for Fluminense’s Brazilian midfielder Matheus Martinelli ahead of the summer transfer window.
Martinelli, 19, came through the youth ranks at Fluminense and made his first-team breakthrough only last year. In a matter of over five months, he has gone on to become an important player for the Brazilian outfit, featuring 16 times till date, in which he has scored three goals and chalked up an assist as well.
A central midfielder by trade, Martinelli has been compared to Barcelona legend Xavi and has been nicknamed ‘Xavinelli’ by his fans. While he may still be in the budding stages of his professional football career, the 19-year-old’s rise to prominence in recent months has gathered him a number of admirers from Europe, including Arsenal and Manchester United.
Heading into the summer transfer window, Arsenal are in desperate need of a new central midfielder given as both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard will be returning to parent club Real Madrid when their loan deals expire. With Mohamed Elneny a mere squad option and Emile Smith Rowe the only natural No. 10 available at Arteta’s disposal, someone like Orkun Kokcu, who has been linked recently, would be a fine addition.
Given that Martinelli can also play in both positions, the Brazilian prodigy can be a viable alternative for Arsenal to consider. However, they will likely have to compete with arch-rivals Manchester United for the 19-year-old. The Red Devils could also end up being in need of a new central midfielder considering Paul Pogba is entering the final year of his contract with the club and could soon be on his way out.
In addition, Donny van de Beek has not been able to establish himself at Old Trafford and could be allowed to leave as well, with the possibility of a swap deal involving him and Juventus star Adrien Rabiot being mooted. So, there might arise a possibility that Manchester United enter the market for a new central midfielder, making a young and promising talent like Martinelli a player worth taking a look at.
The report goes on to add that both Arsenal and Manchester United have scouted Martinelli and made contact with his representatives for information regarding his contract status and availability. It is stated that the midfielder is tied down to Fluminense till 2024 and has a release clause worth €40 million applicable for foreign clubs.
However, Martinelli himself desires to stay longer at Fluminense at the moment, as per the report. It remains to be seen if Arsenal and Manchester United decide to take their interest in the young Brazilian to the next level in the summer.