The Sao Paulo president has revealed that Arsenal transfer target Marquinhos was desperate to leave the club as early as a year ago ahead of a potential move to the Emirates.
The 19-year-old looks set to become the first arrival for the Gunners this summer after being identified by sporting director Edu Gaspar as a star for the future. He has been keen to bring in players on these kinds of deals due to the success of Gabriel Martinelli.
A similar transfer occurred back in 2019 when the Brazilian was picked up from Ituano for a small fee and has gone on to become a huge hit in north London. It was even announced that he would be the club's next No. 11 - which has famously been donned by the likes of Mesut Ozil, Robin van Persie and Ray Parlour.
And Marquinhos could follow in his footsteps with a deal reportedly worth just £2.5million as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad. Arsenal have had major problems up front and it is one position that the Spanish coach wants several options for going into next season.
Sao Paulo president Julio Casares has even admitted that the youngster has been desperate to leave the club for some time - stretching back as far as last year. He went on to say that the forward is likely departing due to a contract issue - though stopped at where he is going.
“He didn’t want to stay, we tried everything. Even before the game against Racing, where he blew up, he didn’t want to stay. It was a contractual issue, that he had this condition,” Casares told Sportv.
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Despite likely missing out on Champions League football, a deal looks almost done for Marquinhos but he is not the only Brazilian forward that Arteta is desperate to sign. Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus has been strongly linked with an Emirates move but their league position could be a problem.
However, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell does not believe it will be a problem. He told Football Insider: “Champions League is the ultimate, of course. It’d be frustrating to miss out.
“But Mikel Arteta knows the player and I think he will be coming to play for Arteta rather than to play in the Champions League. I think that is really important.
“Look, some targets may turn down Arsenal if they are not in the Champions League. Others clubs who are in the Champions League will probably be preferred. The key for Jesus is Mikel Arteta though. I think he is coming.”
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