Gabriel Martinelli has revealed there is no truth to rumours he has received an approach from Real Madrid about a potential move to Spain, and instead reiterated his commitment to Arsenal.
In his first 23 matches for the club since joining from Brazilian minnows Ituano in the summer, Martinelli has already netted ten goals and registered four assists, prompting rumours that a move to La Liga with either Barcelona or Madrid may be on the cards.
Several clubs were looking to sign the 18-year-old forward over the summer, but Martinelli chose the Emirates as his preferred destination, moving to north London in a deal worth £5.6m.
Barça were one of the interested parties, even having the teenager train with the club in Spain prior to his Arsenal move. However, Martinelli revealed the Blaugrana weren't interested in signing him, while also dismissing talk of contact from Madrid.
"Shortly before the São Paulo Cup I spent a few days training in Barcelona,” he revealed to Marca. “I spent 15 days there, which was the time I had on vacation in the Under-17 that ended in October.
“As Copinha did not start until January, we would train in December. And November was free. Barcelona invited me to train with them in La Masía, but afterwards they didn’t want to do anything with me, they didn’t tell me anything. I went back to Ituano, I played Copinha, and then I came to Arsenal.
“Nothing has come to me (from Madrid). I am focused here doing my job at Arsenal, and my head is here.”
Under former manager Unai Emery, Martinelli found his best form, scoring seven goals in 11 game - albeit mainly in cup competitions - before Mikel Arteta replaced him in December. The Brazilian insisted he has enjoyed working under both bosses, claiming the pair have both aided his development.
“Both are amazing people. Unai helped me a lot; he was the first who trusted me and picked me," he added. “I will always be very grateful. He was the one who gave me the first minutes in Europe.
“Mikel now also gives me a lot of confidence. I am very grateful. Always try to help me and give me advice so I can improve my football. In that, I think he is amazing because he tries to give attention to all the players and is a very good person.”
For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!
Source : 90min