ARSENAL star Gabriel Martinelli has revealed he was rejected by Manchester United as a teenager.
The 20-year-old was snapped up by the Gunners in 2019 as he made the £6million move from Brazilian side Ituano.
But in the years prior to that he had been on trial at Man Utd on FOUR occasions – and met stars like Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney in the process.
And Martinelli has now confirmed that the Red Devils never once tried to tie him down to a deal at Old Trafford.
Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “My dad and I had watched the Premier League together, all the teams, like Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester.
“I actually had four different trials at United when I was 13, 14, 15 and 16.
“This was in Manchester at the club’s training base, where I played in the same age group as Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, and I met first-team players, like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra.
“There was never a moment, though, when they said they wanted me (to sign) there.
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“But it give me a taste and made the adaptation a little easier because I had experienced football in England.
“Even after those trials, I always believed in myself. My mind is always thinking, ‘I can do it.'”
Martinelli arrived at the Emirates as a precocious teenager and hit the ground running in an Arsenal shirt.
He netted 10 goals in his first season with the North London outfit.
But since then his progression has stunted somewhat, netting just six times in his subsequent 44 appearances for the club.
Yet despite his struggle to maintain a level of consistency, earlier this month former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere hailed manager Mikel Arteta’s work with Martinelli.
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He said: “The one who I really like and think he’s going to be top, is Martinelli.
“I think what the manager has done with him has been genius as well.
“When I first went there he was training, coming on, not playing much, but training really well and I was thinking ‘he’s going to get a chance here’ and he eventually got his chance and he’s been brilliant.”
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