Italy hope to persuade Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli to represent them instead of Brazil – Daily Mail

Italy are eager to convince Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli to represent them instead of Brazil.

Martinelli was born in Brazil and was called up to a training camp ahead of the Copa America in the summer, but he has yet to play for them at any level. 

The 18-year-old is eligible to represent Italy through his father and the Azzurri have contacted Martinelli about the possibility of playing for them. 

Italy want to persuade Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli to represent them ahead of Brazil

Italy want to persuade Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli to represent them ahead of Brazil

Italy want to persuade Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli to represent them ahead of Brazil

As reported by the Metro, Italy boss Roberto Mancini refused to rule out the possibility of a callup for Martinelli in the future.

He said: ‘As for Martinelli, it’s not so easy to apply to play for Italy.  

‘We need to wait for players with two passports. In the meantime, we’ll continue to exchange (Ciro) Immobile with (Andrea) Belotti.’ 

Despite his lack of experience having joined from Ituano, where he played in the fourth tier of Brazilian football, Martinelli has made a major impact at Arsenal so far.

Martinelli, who is eligible to play for Italy through his father, hasn't played for Brazil at any level

Martinelli, who is eligible to play for Italy through his father, hasn't played for Brazil at any level

Martinelli, who is eligible to play for Italy through his father, hasn’t played for Brazil at any level

Martinelli, who can play up front or out wide, scored twice against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and repeated the feat against Standard Liege in the Europa League.

In addition, Martinelli has made two Premier League appearances for Arsenal so far, featuring as a substitute against Newcastle and Bournemouth. 

As well as his goalscoring exploits Martinelli has also caught the eye with his tenacity, frequently tracking back to win possession.  

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