Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal: Defender to miss Lille friendly amid exit talks, new club decided

The summer transfer is almost three weeks old now and Arsenal are starting to pick up the pace as far as their summer recruitment drive is concerned.

The Gunners sealed their first signing of the summer earlier this week, landing former Chelsea winger Willian on a free-transfer, and they have now their sights set on bolstering other areas of the squad.

Amongst the areas most in need of bolstering is centre-back, despite head coach Mikel Arteta now having William Saliba to call upon following the end of his loan spell at St Etienne.

And one man who is being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium is Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

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The Brazilian is considered as one of the most highly-rated defenders in European football at the moment and has no shortage of suitors, including Arsenal.

With that in mind, here is a round-up of everything we know so far about Arsenal’s interest in the 22-year-old Brazilian.

Who is he?

Magalhaes is a 22-year-old centre-back who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Lille. He has spent time on loan at both Ligue 2 team Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb II.

But has broken into the first-team fold at the French side over the last two seasons and has made 34 in all competitions in 2019/20, scoring one goal.

The Brazilian is yet to earn an international cap, but was due to make his debut for the Olympic team before the coronavirus put a stop to fixtures.

Chelsea transfer ‘almost completed’

According to Eurosport journalist Manu Lunjon, Chelsea are closing in on the defender, with the deal said to be ‘almost completed.’

It is also claimed that Everton remain interested in the player, but the Blues are said to be well ahead of their Premier League rivals for the player.

What the player has said

Speaking back in February, the player was open about his desire to move to the Premier League.

At the time, Arsenal were the club said to be interested in his services, but talking to Telefoot, the player didn’t give much away on a possible move to the Emirates Stadium.

“Maybe, I don’t know,” he said.

However, he added: “but I would love to play in the Premier League.”

That serves as an encouraging sign for Frank Lampard and Chelsea.

Strengths and weaknesses

With a deal said to be on the verge of completion, what will Chelsea be getting should they be successful in bringing the player to Stamford Bridge this summer?

Take a look at his strengths and weaknesses here .

Four teams have ‘bids accepted’

Chelsea are one of four teams to have a bid accepted for the defender, according to transfer expert Duncan Castles.

Everton are another club who have been heavily linked with the player, with the Toffees another team to see a bid accepted along with two Italian clubs.

Manchester City have also been credited with an interest in the 22-year-old.

“He has been watched by Manchester City and Manchester City have been in contact with his agents to assess what interest there would be in moving there, obviously a club that needs to recruit more than one centre-back whenever the window opens again,” castles told the Transfer Window podcast .

“There have, I’m told, now been four offers for Gabriel received by Lille and accepted by Lille.

“One interesting thing here is that they have reduced their asking price.

“So when we were talking about this in January, the valuation was about €40m-€45m for Gabriel but given the new reality of football, given that Lille are a club that has been dependant on transfer revenue, weren’t able to make a big transfer in January.

“As we told you Boubakary Soumare refusing to move at that point when Lille were prepared to cash in on him, Lille need to get money in whenever the window opens again, so they have agreed a deal at a total value of €35m including performance-related bonuses.

“Everton one of the clubs who have had an offer accepted, two clubs in Italy have also had offers accepted, and then the fourth club is Chelsea.”

Arsenal ready Gabriel offer

Arsenal are preparing to submit an official offer for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes, according to reports.

Vinicius Furlan of Tretis TV states that Gabriel has already indicated to Arsenal that he would be interested in joining them.

The 22-year-old has been linked with several other clubs, including Chelsea and Everton, and Arsenal could move soon in the hope of avoiding a bidding war.

Gabriel was one of the most impressive defensive performers in Ligue 1 in the 2019/20 season.

Arteta is thought to be a fan of the left-footed centre-back and Arsenal could seek to hurry the deal along in the coming days.

Arsenal lead race

According to France bleu, Arsenal have taken pole position to land the defender from this summer, getting an advantage from Serie A side Napoli.

Lille replaced the Brazilian with Sven Botman, who signed for the club on Friday for €8million.

Gabriel Magalhaes

It is said that Gabriel will be available for a fee of around €30million.

However, another French publication La Voix du Nord have reported that they have not been able to confirm the reports of an Arsenal breakthrough for the defender.

Talks start

Arsenal have started talks with Lille over a move for the defender, according to reports overnight.

Both reports in France and journalist Fabrizio Romano claim that conversations between the two clubs are ongoing.

When questioned further Romano said that no agreement has yet to be reached with either the club or the player, with Magalhaes waiting to consider his options before making a decision.

Napoli were said to be interested in the defender, but the uncertainty of the future of Kalidou Koulibaly has stopped them making a move so far.

Manchester United interest

It is also claimed by Romano that Manchester United have also made contact with the player’s agent over a potential move.

Although the Red Devils are yet to hold talks with Magalhaes’ club.

Lille line up replacement

Gabriel’s club Lille are reportedly on the verge of signing Inter Milan defender Bruno Fuchs for around £6.7 million.

journalist Alexandre Ernst, claims that a deal is already done between the two clubs and the player.

That could free up Arsenal to make their move for Gabriel, with Lille also making a nice profit from the replacement.

The defender was also left out of Lille’s entire squad for their pre-season friendly at the weekend, leading to speculation that a move to the Emirates Stadium could be close to being completed.

Full story here.

Lille president confirms exit

“Gabriel is young, extremely powerful, currently right now probably one of the two most dominant central defenders in the French league,” Lille president Gerard Lopez told BBC Sport.

“The way we work is very simple. We explain to him and his environment, his agent, what we are looking for, and once we get those offers the choice is his, like we did with Nico [Pepe] and Victor [Oshimen].

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“We are there now, so we told him: ‘Eventually you have to make a decision but we’re not pressing you.’ I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving, we’ve given the OK for that.

“There’s a lot of competition. He’s a young player so he’s got to make sure he makes the right decision. We help him out a little bit so we tell him: ‘We think this might be the right manager or club for you.’

“He’s got so much talent, he will succeed wherever he goes.”

Gabriel to miss friendly amid exit talk

Gunners transfer target Gabriel is set to miss Lille’s friendly with Brest on Sunday afternoon amid speculation about his future.

That is according to Get French Football News, who claim that, barring a late u-turn in decision making, he will not play any part in the contest.

It is claimed that he is edging closer towards an exit from the French club, but no details on who could be signing him have yet been revealed.

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