Italian giants AC Milan are reportedly interested in Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli – if the Serie A side sell Rafael Leao.
According to Calciomercato, Milan are monitoring Martinelli’s contract situation with the Gunners as they plot a move. Currently, the Brazilian’s deal at the Emirates runs out in 2024, but he has had talks about an extension.
Milan’s interest is a pre-emptive plan should they lose Rafael Leao in the upcoming transfer windows. The Portuguese star is apparently set to leave the San Siro, with Chelsea among the clubs looking at him. As a result, the Rossoneri could swoop for Martinelli, who they think will cost at least €60 million.
But that is not the only problem for club director Paolo Maldini. Joining AC Milan in the race for Gabriel Martinelli is none other than FC Barcelona.
On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported that Barca have been scouting the Brazilian whilst he has been playing at the World Cup. Because of this, the Catalan giants may also make a move should Martinelli become available.
Despite all this transfer talk, Arsenal fans may not need to worry just yet. In November, Martinelli spoke of how happy he was in North London.
“This is my club. I love it here,” said the winger, via The Athletic. “I love the city, I love the club, everything about Arsenal. So, I just want to stay. I just need to get a pen!”
But the speculation is still there, with European giants ready to pounce at any opportunity. For now, though, Martinelli is focused on the World Cup.
Gabriel Martinelli: how he has performed in Qatar amid AC Milan interest
Unfortunately, the 21-year-old has found game time hard to come by in Qatar. This is due to La Liga stars Vinicius Jr and Raphinha dominating the minutes on Brazil’s wings.
Martinelli has made just one start and a few brief cameos as a result.
He played three minutes in Brazil’s opening match at the World Cup, coming on as a late substitute. Then, head coach Tite elected to keep him on the bench during Selecao’s 1-0 win over Switzerland.
However, against Cameroon, Martinelli earned his first-ever World Cup start and played 90 minutes. But this did not go to plan; Brazil lost 1-0 in their final group game, despite Martinelli having a stand-out performance in the match.
The five-time World champion’s most recent game, their 4-1 thrashing of South Korea, saw Martinelli make another substitute appearance.
Arsenal’s young star has shown flashes of brilliance in limited minutes during the tournament. Similarly, on the domestic scene, Gabriel Martinelli has had a great 2022/23.
Young Gunners attack help Arsenal lead Premier League at Christmas
Martinelli has become a key part and regular starter in Mikel Arteta’s side this season. He has thus repaid that faith with a series of impressive showings.
The Brazilian scored the first goal of the 2022/23 league season during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Martinelli has since followed this up with a further four goals, taking him to five in total this season. Additionally, he has turned provider, adding two assists onto his stats.
Linking up with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Martin Odegaard, Martinelli is part of a dynamic attack that has fired Arsenal to the top of the league in 2022/23. They will hope to keep up their club form when the Premier League comes back on Boxing Day.
Featured image credit: Getty