Premier League leaders Arsenal are in talks over a deal to sign Corinthians and Brazil U20 defender Robert Renan, according to Goal, with Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg also in the race.
Remember when Jurgen Klopp described Gabriel Martinelli as ‘the talent of the century’ after an EFL Cup meeting between Liverpool and The Gunners back in 2019?
Well, three years on, the former Ituano starlet continues to prove that Klopp is an excellent judge of character, producing another mesmerising performance against the Reds of Merseyside during a 3-2 win that kept Mikel Arteta’s side ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Arsenal’s track record when it comes to signing Brazilian talent is, well, mixed. But Martinelli for just £7 million? Have the Gunners made a better pound-for-pound signing in the last ten years?
ARSENAL IN TALKS TO SIGN CORINTHIANS DEFENDER ROBERT RENAN
The hope will be, of course, that another Samba starlet in 19-year-old Robert Renan can follow in Martinelli’s fleeting footsteps at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal, Goal say, are in talks with Renan’s representatives.
Chelsea and Russian champions Zenit are interested too, while Manchester City and Wolves have also been in talks. Renan’s agent travelled to England for negotiations over the summer.
Goal add that Renan has a £44 million release clause in his contract. Perennial talent-spotters Borussia Dortmund made a £9 million bid a couple of months ago, only to be told by Corinthians that the stylish, ball-playing central defender is valued far higher. It is not certain, at this stage, how much it would take to twist Corinthians’ arm.
“Robert, as soon as he entered the game, played a pass between lines. One of the most difficult passes to produce,” Corinthians coach Vitor Pereira beamed after Renan came off the bench to set up a goal in the 4-0 Copa do Brasil thrashing of Santos.
“This shows his confidence and quality. He has to grow but he has potential. He’s a player who will fly to other levels, without a doubt. He is fast, he is technical and he has personality.”
Left-footed Renan is likely to be viewed as a back-up to compatriot Gabriel Magalhaes at Arsenal. At least initially, anyway.