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World Cup 2022: Gabriel Martinelli Emerges As Transfer Target for Barcelona
- Gabriel Martinelli could be on his way to Spanish giants Barcelona next year
- The Arsenal star has been wonderful for Brazil during their World Cup quest
- 21-year-old Martinelli will hope to shine for the Selecao when they face Croatia
Gabriel Martinelli has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Spanish giants Barcelona, following his impressive performances so far for Brazil at the ongoing 2022 World Cup.
His inclusion in Brazil's final squad for the competition came as a surprise, but the 21-year-old has done enough to catch the attention of those in charge of the Catalan club.
Martinelli joined Arsenal in the summer of 2019 as totally unknown player, after being spotted by former Arsenal talent scout Francis Cagigao.
How did he perform?
He made an instant impact during his first season with the club, but a serious knee injury, the uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic, and a change of management when Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery, stunted his progress.
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After an encouraging pre-season show, Martinelli cemented his place in the Gunners' first team that is doing well this term in the Premier League.
According to the report on Sky Sports, Barcelona want to bolster their squad next year and they see the former Ituano star as someone good enough for their squad.
However, they will have to convince Arsenal chiefs with big money if they are to be tempted to sell Martinelli.
Xhaka backs Nketiah to shine
Earlier, Sports Brief had reported how Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus withdrew from the Brazil World Cup squad, after suffering a knee injury which he has undergone surgery for.
Jesus, who joined the Gunners from Manchester City in the summer, has been the first choice striker for Mikel Arteta ahead of Eddie Nketiah.
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Arsenal are likely to be in the market in January for a replacement, but Granit Xhaka has backed Nketiah to fill in for Jesus.
The club confirmed in a statement that Jesus had undergone surgery on his right knee and would begin a period of rehabilitation.
No specific timeline is set for his return, but it has been widely circulated in the English media that he will be out for two to three months.