Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has spoken out on his trials at Manchester United, conceding he felt lost after he was turned down by the club.
- Man Utd release statement after watching full Cristiano Ronaldo interview
- Bruno Fernandes responds to ‘frosty’ Ronaldo moment & Piers Morgan interview
- Man City respond to Ronaldo claiming he almost joined them over Man Utd
The Brazilian star travelled to Manchester in 2015 and would make a number of visits over the next two years to participate in training sessions at Carrington under the watchful eye of United coaches.
The Red Devils did not follow up on that initial interest, with Martinelli returning to Brazil where he signed his first professional deal with Ituano.
In 2019, Arsenal made their move, bringing the player to the Emirates in a deal worth only £6million.
Martinelli scored a brace on his first competitive start for the club and has since grown into a key member of Mikel Arteta’s first-team with the Gunners top of the Premier League after their best ever start to a campaign.
In an interview with the Player’s Tribune, Martinelli spoke at length about his experience with United, revealing he had been desperate to join the Manchester club since the age of 13.
‘There was a project with Manchester United, I did some trials there. It didn’t work out but I went four or five times there.,’ Martinelli said.
‘Manchester United had some scouts in Brazil and they saw me playing, they had a meeting with my father, and then it worked out.
‘Then there was this time I met [Paul] Pogba, and Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] was another time, when I was already a little older, I think it was the third time I went. And that was a project for when I turned 18. If they really wanted to, I would move.
‘We saw that… but when I arrived at 17, which was the last time I went to Manchester, I went back to Brazil, and they said they didn’t want me, so that was it, I would come home to practice.
‘I think it was very important for me, even though I got a no, but it was very important to know how football works here, how things are here, so when I came permanently to Arsenal, I think I was a little more used to it. I already knew how things were here, I already knew a little about the culture too.
‘Since I was 13 I’ve had this project with Manchester, I’ve always had it in my head, “Hey, I’m going to Manchester, whatever, when I turn 18.” Then when you reach this age, in the year you are 17, the guys say, “Hey, we don’t want it anymore.” I said, “Hey, what am I going to do now?’
United’s loss has been Arsenal’s gain, with Martinelli currently part of Brazil’s World Cup squad in Brazil having scored five goals for the North London club this season.