Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille OSC, according to the Daily Record.
The 22-year-old centre-back has attracted the attentions of a number of clubs across Europe and it was at one point believed he could follow forward Victor Osimhen from Lille to Napoli, but that option is now out. Everton were also interested but their interest has been cooled, while some reports suggest Manchester United are looking into the situation as well.
However, the Record quote several French outlets in claiming Magalhaes has met face-to-face with the representatives of the Arsenal hierarchy this week, and he is now a step away from becoming a Gunner. To add even more fuel to the fire, the player himself was asked during a live session on Instagram to ‘touch his hat‘ if he’s coming to Arsenal. And he did.
Gabriel is a left-footed centre-back of great potential, and his considerable skill on the ball makes him quite capable of performing well as a defensive midfielder too. He played in 34 games in the 2019/20 season for his current club, starting 27 of those and playing most of them from the first to the final whistle. He managed to find the opposition net once.
If this move goes through, Arsenal will have added another player who could potentially become one of the defensive pillars for the club in the next decade, along with William Saliba who has already joined.
But the business is not done yet. Apparently, Lille want €30 million (£27m) to part ways with Gabriel, which is no small amount for a player with so much still to prove. It remains to be seen if the two clubs can work out an agreement, and if United will make it difficult for the Gunners by stepping up their own interest too.