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Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Gelson Martins as the winger attempts to terminate his contract with Sporting Lisbon.
According to Sky Sports News, the Gunners are not alone in their pursuit of the Portugal international, who could be available for free this summer.
The 23-year-old’s current deal with Sporting runs to 2022 but, along with three others, he is attempting to void his contract, citing “just cause” after the squad were attacked at the club’s training ground last month, the report added.
Portuguese football writer Jan Hagen provided further context:
Jan Hagen @PortuBall
Confirmed: After Rui Patrício terminated his deal with the club last week, William Carvalho l, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes have all followed their captain’s lead and terminated their contracts, quoting “just cause”.
The Sporting chaos continues. https://t.co/tCrMNfxSXW
If it does indeed transpire that Martins becomes available for free then Arsenal would do well to snap him up.
New head coach Unai Emery has a huge job on his hands to step into Arsene Wenger’s role and return the Gunners to the Premier League’s top four and the UEFA Champions League.
But, according to Matt Law in the Telegraph, he has only a £50 million transfer budget to work with, as well as anything he can earn from sales.
So picking up a player of Martins’ quality for free would be a terrific coup.
Martins is a versatile attacker who could add creativity and verve to a forward line that already looks dangerous ahead of next season with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil.
He netted eight goals and provided eight assists in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last term, while he also has Champions League and UEFA Europa League experience.