Arsenal’s rising star Gabriel Martinelli has shut down rumours linking him with a mega-money transfer to Real Madrid.
The 18-year-old Brazilian has scored 10 goals in his first season at Arsenal, and is the first Gunner to hit double figures as a teenager since Nicolas Anelka did so over 20 years ago.
Martinelli recently revealed that Barcelona made an offer for him before he joined Arsenal, but he is yet to receive contact from Real Madrid regarding a possible move.
“No, nothing has come to me. I am focused here doing my job at Arsenal and my head is here,” he told Marca.
Martinelli’s emergence has been one of the brighter spots of an otherwise underwhelming season for the Gunners – but it has now come to light that he may never have joined them.
“Shortly before the Sao Paulo Cup I spent a few days training in Barcelona. I spent 15 days there,” he added.
“Barcelona invited me to train with them in La Masia but afterwards they didn’t want to do anything with me, they didn’t tell me anything… I went back to Ituano, I played Copinha and then I came to Arsenal.”
Martinelli’s performances have earned him praise from a Brazilian legend, with Ronaldinho claiming he can go to the very top in the game.
“We as Brazilians are very excited about him and his future,” the former Ballon D’Or winner explained recently. “It is one thing to have the talent – but another at the age of 18 to have the confidence.
“He reminds me of Ronaldo his first season in Europe he scored 30 goals and people were thinking: ‘who is this 18 year old Brazilian kid?’
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“He wanted the ball, he would run at players, there was no fear no matter what players or team he was playing against – and I see that similar attitude in Martinelli.
“He just wants to be on the ball and score goals. Ronaldo went on to be the best player in the world – and that can also be the aim of Martinelli.”
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