Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli is close to agreeing a new long-term deal with the club, with negotiations now in the final stage, according to transfer pundit Fabrizio Romano. The Brazilian's contract is up in June 2024, but the Gunners are keen to keep him at the club beyond that.
Martinelli arrived at the north London outfit in 2019 from Brazilian side Ituano and has grown into a key player since then, making 104 appearances and contributing 38 goals. He won the FA Cup in his first season.
The 21-year-old's rise to prominence recently hasn't gone unnoticed on the international stage. Former Brazil manager Tite called him up to the squad six times this year.
That includes three appearances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He played only 111 minutes, though, starting just one match - a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in the final group game.
Romano said that the new deal hasn't been fully done or agreed yet, and nothing has been signed either, but both parties are getting closer to a conclusion. He added that Bukayo Saka and William Saliba are priorities for Arsenal too in terms of signing new contracts, with both players impressing this season.
With four goals and six assists, Saka has had the most goal contributions in the squad behind only Gabriel Jesus as the 21-year-old has emerged as a leader in Arsenal's attack.
Saliba, meanwhile, has led by example in defence with his commanding displays. After joining the Gunners in 2019, he was sent out on loan to Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille in Ligue 1.
Following his eye-catching displays, manager Mikel Arteta gave him an opportunity in the first team. Saliba has made the most of that by nailing down a starting berth.
Arsenal resume their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham United on Monday (December 27).
Arsenal's test of title credentials begins now
Arsenal have demonstrated their Premier League title credentials this season with their best ever start in the competition. However, we're only 14 games in, and the real test of their mettle lies ahead.
In the next two months, the Gunners will come up against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Everton, Brentford and Manchester City in the league. With Gabriel Jesus ruled out till March with a knee injury, Arteta's side will have their task cut out. It will be interesting to see if the manager has some tricks up his sleeve.