Gelson Martins: Arsenal, Liverpool and Lazio interested, where next for the tricky winger

27 June at 20:40
After terminating his contract with Sporting Lisbon, 23-year-old Portuguese winger Gelson Martins is currently available on a free agent. After an attack on Lisbon’s training centre by a group of ultras in May left several players and staff injured, a core group of Lisbon’s top talent terminated their contracts with the club.
 
Most notably, Rui Patricio, who has since joined newly promoted Premier League team Wolves, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho and, of course, Martins himself. Last summer, Cristiano Ronaldo tried to convince Real Madrid to sign Gelson Martins; yet the Madrid side opted against it.
 
Now, with the player available on a free, Lazio, Arsenal and Liverpool have all emerged as interested parties. Lazio are looking to replace West Ham-bound winger Felipe Anderson; whilst Arsenal and Liverpool look to strengthen their squad ahead of the next Premier League season.
 
So, where next for Gelson Martins?
 
Well, reports suggest that Lazio could be in pole due to their relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes; who is said to have a close bond himself with Martins, despite not being his official representative. Lazio will also presumably be able to offer Martins more game-time than Arsenal and Liverpool; whilst being able to offer him a greater chance of future Champions League football – as there is arguably less competition for the Top 4 places in Italy than in England. However, if Sporting Lisbon win their case against Gelson Martins, which he has been assured they will not, the club that signs Martins could be liable to pay his existing €65m release clause. Impossible for the biancoceleste.
 
Arsenal are looking to add to their squad under new manager Unai Emery and, given the club’s limited transfer budget, Martins could be the perfect option. He would some much needed flair to Arsenal’s wings – allowing him to link up perfectly with the lightning fast Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
 
Meanwhile, Liverpool are looking to push for the league title this season – after an impressive year in which they came 4th in the league and made the final of the UEFA Champions League. Coutinho is yet to be properly replaced and, after the failed transfer of Nabil Fekir, Gelson Martins could prove to be a budget offensive option.
 
One thing is for sure, Martins will likely not remain at Lisbon and with all three clubs keen, only time will tell where he ends up.
 
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To see the players released by Lisbon, check our gallery!
 
 
Sam Wilson @snhw_

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