Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli says he was convinced Manchester United were going to sign him
The young Brazilian has been a revelation in North London. He is one of Arsenal’s most impressive players, and his brilliant performances have even earned him a call-up to Brazil’s World Cup squad.
Things, however, could’ve been very different.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli says he was convinced Manchester United were going to sign him
Before Martinelli joined Arsenal and became the star he is today, the Brazilian faced rejections from two of the biggest clubs in world football – Manchester United and Barcelona.
The now 21-year-old revealed how he spent some time at Manchester United and even took part in numerous trials. He was also allowed to meet many of the club’s senior players.
Martinelli claims he was absolutely convinced that the Red Devils would sign him after his trials, but Manchester United decided he wasn’t good enough. He revealed that the same happened at Barcelona as well, which really shook him.
The Arsenal star wrote in The Players’ Tribune: “I used to be part of this project at Manchester United. I was actually there for several trials. I even met many of the senior players.
“When I was 17, I had my last session there, so I went back to Brazil waiting for news. One day my dad called me into the living room. He had spoken to my agent and … well, United had said no.
“Not just, “No, for this year. But, “No, we don’t want him. At all. To be honest, I was shaken. They had seen me play several times, and I was sure they were going to sign me, you know?
“A few weeks later I got another trial, at Barcelona. I spent 15 days there. They didn’t want me either. That was easier to accept, because it was just one trial. Still…. I remember sitting down with my dad and saying: “What are we going to do?”
Manchester United and Barcelona’s loss has proved to be Arsenal’s gain.
The Gunners signed the Brazilian for just £6 million in 2019 (Goal). His value has probably gone up tenfold, and fans of Manchester United will be wondering what their scouting department was thinking when they rejected a chance to sign someone as good as him.
Arsenal fans, however, will not care. They absolutely love Martinelli, and going by his comments in The Players’ Tribune, it seems like the feeling is mutual.
Martinelli is unlikely to get many opportunities at the World Cup, but if he does and impresses in Qatar, Manchester United fans will kick themselves even more.
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