Brazilian news agency Sportslight, who do a great job with investigative journalism, share some interesting news about an Arsenal transfer today.
A piece written by Lúcio de Castro shows that former Brazil midfielder Juninho Paulista may be breaking the rules by making money from Gabriel Martinelli’s move to the Gunners.
It all starts with the fact the Middlesbrough legend used to direct Brazilian side Ituano. Still in his time in charge of the club, Arsenal started negotiating Martinelli’s transfer to London.
Then a sequence of facts events place in July 2019. On the 2nd, Gabriel Martinelli was announced by Arsenal. On the 7th, Juninho Paulista took Edu Gaspar’s place as the national team coordinator. And on the 9th, Edu Gaspar started his new role at the Gunners.
By taking a role with the national team, Juninho Paulista should’ve left all his ties with Ituano, but he didn’t.
Documents published by Sportslight show that he continued to own a company which is registered as Ituano’s managing partner until December. After that, he’s changed his role to a usufructuary, which means he doesn’t own the company, but can still make profits with them. His father is still one of the owners.
So although the details of Martinelli’s transfer to Arsenal aren’t revealed, the the youngster’s call-up to the national team, where Juninho is a coordinator, could be included in clauses which would give Ituano, and consequently Juninho, some money. Not to mention a future sale.
The sequence of how the Martinelli, Juninho and Gaspar moves took place is a basis for concern that a shady deal could be behind the move.
Sportslight contacted the communications teams of Juninho and Arsenal, sending them lots of questions. Juninho’s press officer has claimed that the coordinator was only involved in the negotiations for Martinelli’s move at the beginning, and he was no longer in charge once the move was made official.
And even though Sportslight sent three questions to Edu Gaspar and three others to Arsenal, the London side only gave them one reply, saying: “Gabriel Martinelli’s transfer was completed before Edu joined us. We do not disclose transfer payments or specific details about transfer transactions of any player.”