Arsenal wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli has revealed he took part in four separate trials with Manchester United but failed to earn a contract.
The Brazilian teenager joined Arsenal in the summer from Ituano and has enjoyed a stellar start to his career in north London.
Why didn’t Man Utd sign Martinelli? Five things to know…
- Arsenal signed Martinelli from Brazilian club Ituano for a deal in the region of £6m last summer.
- The 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the capital, which has yielded 10 goals.
- However, the Brazilian has now revealed he held trials at another English giant prior to moving to Arsenal.
- Martinelli spent four separate years trialling with Man Utd and trained alongside the likes of Paul Pogba.
- Despite spending up to a fortnight during one stint in the north west, the club opted against signing Martinelli.
Earmarked as a future star at the Emirates, Martinelli has hit the ground running in English football, adapting to the Premier league seamlessly and recording double digits for goals in his maiden campaign across all competitions.
However, it’s not just Martinelli’s eye for goal which first caught the eye of Unai Emery, and now Mikel Arteta, but rather his all-round game in the final third, including a slick dribbling ability which is so emblematic of Brazilian players.
Arsenal are now reaping the rewards of a fruitful scouting network which plucked the precocious forward from relative obscurity, but it could have been Man Utd enjoying the exploits of Martinelli, according to the player himself.
“There was a partnership between Ituano and Manchester United which allowed me to go there every year, for four years, to train with boys my age or older,” Martinelli told FourFourTwo.
“That was nice, because I got a first taste of what English football was like. I met Marouane Fellaini, Patrice Evra and Paul Pogba, and made sure I got a photo with all of them.
“They didn’t make an offer, so I returned to Ituano and kept doing my job there.”
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“I was training in La Masia for two weeks”
It wasn’t just Man Utd who passed on the chance to sign Martinelli, with the 18-year-old also revealing he spent a fortnight at the famed Barcelona academy, La Masia, two years ago.
He said: “I went in November 2018 and I was training in La Masia for two weeks.
“I was not lucky enough to meet any of the players of the first team because it was the international break. I could not see Messi.”