Chelsea “could sign” Gabriel Martinelli with the Arsenal star reportedly ‘not even close’ to agreeing a new deal at the Emirates.
A report on Tuesday claimed the 21-year-old is looking for ‘pay parity with the club’s top-earners as talks over a new deal get underway’.
The forward’s deal doesn’t expire until 2024 and the club has the option of extending that by a further 12 months, but there is an acceptance that his form merits a new and improved contract.
It is understood that negotiations have started but that ‘an agreement is not close’ after the Brazilian demanded Arsenal ‘treble’ his salary.
Martinelli is insisting that Arsenal make him ‘one of the best paid players at the club if they are to extend his deal’ with Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey earning in excess of £200,000 a week.
While there are no rumours of an exit from the Emirates, Glen Johnson believes Chelsea “could sign him” and their chances increase the longer he goes without agreeing a new deal.
“He’s a very exciting young player, so I can definitely believe that Chelsea are interested,” Johnson told Bettingodds.com.
“The closer he gets towards the end of his contract, then there’s a chance they could sign him.
“Chelsea’s a massive football club and despite the fact that they’ve not been competing as much as they should have been in recent seasons, it still remains a massive attraction.
“If Gabriel gets to the summer with a year to go on his deal, then I’m sure Chelsea would want a move and I’m sure Martinelli would.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has urged his former side to prevent any speculation by giving the Brazilian “whatever he wants” to keep him at the club.
“The way Arsenal went about that game and the way Gabriel Martinelli played… he was doing the work of two men,” Wright said on his podcast The Ringer.
“He was blazing up and down that right side. I’m telling you, he’s the one! With Martinelli, if I’m Arsenal, I’m going in now and offering him whatever he wants.”
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