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Report: Title-winners set eyes on Arsenal for ‘ruthless’ talent, Aubameyang backed to be ‘superstar’

Inter Milan have lined Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli up as a potential summer transfer target, according to Calciomercato.

The Serie A champions are eager to refresh the right-hand side of their squad under new boss Simone Inzaghi. Achraf Hakimi was the heavy favourite under former head coach Antonio Conte, but the Moroccan is wanted by Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Inter have four players on their shortlist who could take over from Hakimi at the San Siro next season. Real Betis winger Emerson Royal is the leading contender for the position. Yet the Nerazzurri would face competition from rivals AC Milan.

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Milan Sporting Director Frederic Massara met with Royal’s representatives this week to discuss a move to Italy. Frederic Pena and the Giuffrida brothers had previously sat down with the Inter hierarchy, as well.

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Should Royal favour AC over Inter, the Nerazzurri would turn their attention to Arsenal for Martinelli, Sao Paulo midfielder Igor Gomes or ‘the forbidden dream’ Vinicius. Further negotiations are scheduled to finalise who is the favoured alternative.

Martinelli has three years remaining on his contract at the Emirates, but struggled to hold down a role last season. The Brazilian only started seven of his 14 Premier League appearances following long-term knee injury.

After playing zero minutes in February and a restricted role in March, the 19-year-old scored his first goal of the season against Sheffield United in April. He added his sole assist against Newcastle in May, before scoring Arsenal’s go-ahead goal to beat Crystal Palace.

TBR’s view: Arsenal cannot let Martinelli leave

While Martinelli only currently features on Inter Milan’s shortlist of potential targets, Arsenal cannot let the forward leave. The Brazilian represents a key and exciting part of their future and must be given a leading role next season.

The 2020/21 campaign was more about Martinelli returning to fitness than it was about him leading the scoring charts. He clearly struggled to overcome his injury issues upon returning to action in December, but had found the right path toward the end of the term.

Martinelli is also lauded by those at Arsenal. Head coach Mikel Arteta called him ‘ruthless’ in December for his never-give-in attitude. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also backed him to be a ‘superstar’ last year – not because of his goals, but for his attitude, energy and mindset.

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