ARSENAL are closing in on signing Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli – and the striker has even started following the club on social media.
The Gunners believe they have beaten off competition to capture the signature of the 17-year-old, who is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Brazil.
Arsenal are understood to have agreed a £6.5million fee with his club Ituano FC and expect to complete the formalities in the coming days.
And it appears the forward has already started preparing for life in England having started following Arsenal on Instagram.
Martinelli qualifies for an Italian passport through his father so will not need a work permit to join the Gunners.
He was named best newcomer in the Campeonato Paulista, the top level state league for Sao Paulo.
The north London side have beaten a host of top European sides to land Martinelli, with head of international recruitment Francis Cagigao the man behind the transfer.
Cagigao – known for his strong contacts in South America – travelled to Brazil himself to watch the talented forward on more than one occasion before finalising the transfer.
It is not yet clear whether he will feature with the senior side next season, but boss Unai Emery is expected to run the rule over the attacker during pre-season.
Martinelli can play across the frontline, but is seen more as winger who likes to cut inside into more central areas.
The imminent capture of Martinelli is being viewed as a success by the north London club and highlights the growing influence Cagigao is enjoying behind the scenes.
Since Sven Mislintat’s departure as head of recruitment, Cagigao has been leading the club’s scouting network.
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