Head coach Mikel Arteta is in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer and the Gunners seem to have beaten off competition from Napoli and Manchester United to sign the Brazilian, who has established himself as one of the most exciting defensive talents in Europe after his displays for the Ligue 1 side last season.
A deal is close to being completed, with an agreement between the Gunners and Lille reached, and it has also been revealed that Arteta played a key role in the transfer.
With that in mind, here is a round-up of everything we know so far concerning the defender’s future and what stage Arsenal are at in their quest to sign him.
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.
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.
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.”
Strengths and weaknesses
With a deal said to be on the verge of completion, what will Arsenal be getting should they be successful in bringing the player to the Emirates this summer?
Take a look at his strengths and weaknesses here.
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.
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.
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.
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].
“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.
Arsenal close in on transfer
The Gunners are close to completing the signing of Gabriel, according to a report by The Telegraph.
The Brazilian has been closely linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in recent weeks and now it appears as though a deal is edging closer and closer towards being concluded.
Whilst The Telegraph report that a deal is edging closer, Mohamed Bouhafsi – a reporter for RMC Sport – claims that Gabriel will make a decision by Wednesday.
Arsenal hoping to seal agreement
football.londonunderstands Arsenal are pushing for an agreement over the signature of Gabriel Magalhaes as they look to secure another transfer triumph over Napoli.
His current club Lille are resigned to losing Gabriel but are also standing by for an indication as to where the 22-year-old wants to play next season.
Multiple sources have indicated to football.london that Gabriel is yet to indicate a firm decision on which club he will choose. Talks with Arsenal have ramped up in recent weeks with Mikel Arteta determined to strengthen his defence. Personal terms for the centre-back are not expected to pose a problem.
Gabriel’s father drops hint
Gabriel Magalhaes’ father Marcelo has appeared to drop a hint on social media that his son is close to joining Arsenal.
The Gunners are in talks to sign the Lille centre-back, boss Mikel Arteta looking to strengthen his backline ahead of the new campaign.
football.london understands Arsenal are pushing for an agreement, although the player is yet to indicate a firm decision on which club he will choose, with Napoli also keen.
Negotiations are ongoing, and it is thought personal terms for the centre-back will not pose a problem. Read here
According to ESPN, Arsenal are hopeful of sealing a deal for Gabriel after agreeing a fee in the region of £22million for the defender.
Lille’s president Gerard Lopez confirmed on Sunday that several clubs had met their asking price for the Brazilian.
“He [Gabriel] is one of the players that we allowed to exit the club this summer, he asked for it and wants to try something else,” Lopez told Sky Sports.
“We clearly told him what our expectations were, we spoke to a number of clubs, our expectations were met by a number of clubs and we have given him the time to decide.
“It is going to be entirely his decision. We tend to try and steer our players in certain directions, but at the end of the day it’s the player’s decision. I know he is going to make a decision early next week.”
According to reports in Italy, Napoli have asked Gabriel to delay his decision.
The Serie A side are keen for the 22-year-old to wait a few more days to see if they can raise funds by selling Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester City.
However, the boost for Arsenal is that th defender is pressing hard on Arsenal.
Arsenal transfer on the verge
The Telegraph report that Arsenal are on the cusp of sealing a deal for Gabriel.
They claim that the Gunners have agreed a fee with Lille worth £22.6million and the defender is now poised to put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Emirates Stadium.
The defender is now poised to undergo a medical before finalising the move.
Lille president gives timescale
Talking on TalkSPORT on Thursday, Lille president Gerard Lopez gave the latest update on a deal.
“That choice, I don’t think I’m giving up too much if I say, it’s going to be made today or tomorrow,” he said.
“I couldn’t tell you at this stage what it is. We’ve given him some recommendations but we don’t like to talk in public because we don’t want people to feel bad.
“We’ve told him where we think he could and should go but at the end of the day he and his environment make their choice and we support that.”
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Arsenal are closing in on a deal to bring Gabriel to the Emirates Stadium this summer, but do face one complication to doing so.
As reported by football.london, quarantine rules imposed by the UK government means that anyone arriving from France has to spend 14-days in self-isolation.
And this could pose a problem to Arsenal should they wish to bring the player over for a medical.
Arsenal ‘confident’ of signing
According to Guardian and Sky in Italy journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are ‘confident’ of completing a deal for Gabriel.
Romano claims Arsenal have upped their offer to Gabriel and are ready to seal an agreement.
Napoli are also interested, but it is thought that the Serie A side cannot sign the Brazilian until they sell Kalidou Koulibaly.
Mikel Arteta has played a key role in the summer transfer.
Napoli and Manchester United have both shown an interest in the central defender, but it is Arsenal and in particular Mikel Arteta who have managed to get the deal done.
Gabriel was shocked, in a good way, by Arteta’s pure determination to ensure he chooses Arsenal as his next destination, according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, with the Arsenal boss getting personally involved and speaking to him on a regular basis.
Arsenal have moved a step closer to their second first-team signng of the summer.
Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that an agreement with the Gunners and Lille has now been reached, with the transfer fee set to be £27m plus adds-ons.
Furthermore, Gabriel will sign a five-year deal at the Emirates Stadium and wll fly to London on Monday to put pen-to-paper on the contract with an announcement set for next week.