Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has admitted that he would consider representing Italy at international level, despite having been born and raised in Brazil.
Martinelli was born in Sao Paulo, but he is yet to make an appearance for the Brazilian national team, while he also happens to qualify to play for the Azzurri through his father.
The Arsenal youngster – who scored in the Gunners 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on Saturday – told DAZN (as cited by The Sun), that it is his ‘dream’ to play in the yellow of Brazil, but he refused to rule out the possibility of playing for Italy, confessing that ‘nothing has been decided.’
“I am Brazilian and my dream, of course, is to play for Brazil,” he said. “But I could also play for Italy and nothing has been decided.
“I haven’t received a call from Brazil yet.”
The Italian FA has sounded out the possibility of recruiting Martinelli through his father, and they have been given a huge boost by his lack of conviction over the matter.
The 18-year-old was part of Brazil’s training camp ahead of the Copa America last summer, and he has also made two appearances at Under-23 level.
But FIFA regulations allow a player to switch nationalities if he is yet to make a competitive appearance for his senior side. This ruling means that Italy could still acquire the youngster’s services at international level, despite having been involved in the Brazil youth setup.
The teenage forward has already opened his Premier League account, scoring against West Ham in a 3-1 win for the Gunners as well as against Sheffield United this weekend.