Arsenal star ‘very close’ to signing new deal so Barcelona switch focus to Chelsea, Liverpool target

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal boost on Martinelli

Arsenal attacker Gabriel Martinelli is reportedly ‘very close’ to signing a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2027.

The Gunners forward joined the Premier League club from Brazilian side Ituano in 2019.

Martinelli’s time at Arsenal has been impacted by injury as he missed most of 2020 after damaging his knee.

The 21-year-old has recovered since then though as he has been in sensational form over the past 18 months.

The winger came into his own last term as Arsenal came close to qualifying for the Champions League.

He has carried that form over into this season as he has grabbed five goals and two assists in 14 Premier League outings.

Arsenal have been in talks with Martinelli over a new contract for the past few months with his current deal set to expire in 2024.

Barcelona have been hovering in the background and were ready to pursue Martinelli next year if his contract talks with Arsenal dragged on.

But Spanish outlet Sport are now reporting that Martinelli ‘is very close to signing’ an extension at Arsenal.

Martinelli ‘feels comfortable’ in England and he ‘wants to continue in the Premier League’.

He reportedly ‘entered Barcelona’s radar a few months ago’ but he is ‘no longer on the market’.

It is said that Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury has ‘accelerated talks’ and if there are ‘no setbacks’, he will ‘extend his contract until 2027’.

Given Barcelona’s uncertain financial situation, it is noted that they are ‘always very attentive to the contractual situations of footballers who are close to ending their links with the clubs’.

Borussia Dortmund teenager Youssoufa Moukoko is also being ‘monitored’ by Barcelona.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season in 2022/23 for the Bundesliga side but he is out of contract in 2023.

The 18-year-old has been involved in nine goals in 14 appearances in the Bundesliga this term.

Clubs around Europe are interested in what could be a bargain transfer with Moukoko entering the final few months of his deal at Dortmund.

Liverpool and Chelsea have been heavily linked with the attacker but the latter are understood to be the favourites to sign him.

Moukoko’s agent Patrick Williams recently confirmed that the forward is “not closing in on an agreement” with Dortmund.

“I can confirm that we are currently not closing in on an agreement with Borussia Dortmund to sign a new contract.”

Sky Sports reporter Florian Plettenberg subsequently revealed that Chelsea are ‘pushing hard’ to sign Moukoko.

It is also believed that Dortmund would prefer to see Moukoko in January so they can make sure that he does not leave for free next summer.

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