Former Arsenal midfielder Edu is set to return to the club as their new technical director, according to reports. The 40-year-old, who was a key part of Arsenal’s 2003-04 Invincibles side, is currently the general coordinator for Brazil’s national teams. According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners view Edu as the perfect candidate to become their technical director after they were snubbed by Monchi, who returned to Sevilla last month. Edu would not join Arsenal until after Brazil’s Copa America campaign finishes in the summer, but it’s understood that the Gunners are prepared to wait.
The report also claims that Arsenal are also lining up Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli as their first summer signing. Martinelli, a right-sided attacker who plays for Brazilian side Ituano, is reportedly on the verge of agreeing a deal with Arsenal. Last month, reports claimed that Arsenal had offered £5 million for the 17-year-old. This fits with rumours in late March, when it was claimed Arsenal had finalised a deal to sign the player, but they were just waiting on Martinelli obtaining his Italian passport. There have been differing reports on how long that would take, with some rumours he’ll have it this month, and others that it won’t be until June. Martinelli drew a lot of attention in this year’s Campeonato Paulista, as he scored six goals and assisted three in 14 appearances. That put him just one goal off the competition’s top scorer and two assists off the top assist provider, despite his age.
After being released in Spain, Edu signed a contract with his former club, the Corinthians, on 6 August 2009, which was to last until 31 December 2011. After playing four matches during the 2010 season, his contract was terminated by mutual consent, and Edu announced his retirement from professional football. On 17 March 2011, Corinthians announced that Edu would take over from William Machado as the club’s director of football. He also assisted Carlos Queiroz’s Iranian national team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.