Arsenal report: Gunners 'well-connected' to sign Brazilian 16-year-old dubbed 'the next Pele'

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta applauds the fans after their sides victory during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal FC at Elland Road on October 16, 2022 in Leeds, England.
(Image credit: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Arsenal could be rivalling the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona for 16-year-old Endrick from Palmeiras. 

Compared to legends of Brazilian football such as Pele and Ronaldo, the teenager was given his debut at the age of 15. He is widely regarded as the most exciting talent of his age since Neymar is expected to make a blockbuster move to Europe when he turns 18.

Now, one former Arsenal captain has hinted that Arsenal are in the race to sign such a starlet – owing to their established Brazilian contingent. 

Transfer news: Endrick

Endrick is thought to be the next big thing out of Brazil (Image credit: PA)

"We know the importance in football of being well connected, to people, clubs, sporting directors, presidents of the club," Gilberto Silva told Metro (opens in new tab). "This is how things happen.

"But there is big competition to get the best players, from the best leagues. For Palmeiras, they are going to receive a lot of calls from many clubs, the best clubs in the world to try and bring him to them. Let’s see, if some point Arsenal did manage to bring the player, they will be getting a very good player."

The connection that Gilberto is referring to is that of Edu, the sporting director at the heart of the club who has helped to engineer deals for Brazilian players, such as Gabriel Jesus and David Luiz. 

Over the summer, Arsenal managed to sign Sao Paolo starlet Marquinhos from under the noses of other European giants, thanks to Edu's connections. 

Gabriel Martinelli receives the Arsenal player of the month award from Arsenal Technical Director Edu the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on January 23, 2022 in London, England.

Gabriel Martinelli receives the Arsenal player of the month award from Arsenal technical director Edu (Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Gilberto Silva joined Arsenal from Atletico Mineiro in 2002 after winning a World Cup with Brazil. He played in midfield in with Edu when the pair won the Premier League in 2004 without losing a single game. 

Endrick is valued at around £13.5 million by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli; the Gunners are said to have already made contact with the Italy international's camp. The club are also interested in Evan Ndicka in defence, while N'Golo Kante and Federico Valverde are targets, too. 

Meanwhile, one man who could be heading for the Emirates Stadium exit door is Gabriel Martinelli: there's been talk of Chelsea making a shock swoop for the winger.

In other news, Aaron Ramsdale says that the Gunners have been motivated to succeed this season by the disappointment of missing out on Champions League qualification last term

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.