Arsenal look set to win the race to sign Gabriel Magalhaes after the Premier League club reportedly agreed a deal to sign the Lille defender on a five-year contract.
The Brazilian had attracted the interest of several leading clubs following his performances this season, with the centre-back having impressed in helping Lille secure a fourth-placed finish and qualification to next season’s Europa League.
Arsenal have monitored the player for some time but faced strong competition from both Everton and Napoli, each of the three sides believed to have met Lille’s asking price of €25m for the highly-rated 22-year-old.
According to the Telegraph, however, the Gunners are now closing in on Gabriel’s signature with the defender turning down an increased offer from Napoli in favour of a move to the Emirates, Everton having already withdrawn their interest following the youngster’s reluctance to move to Merseyside.
Gabriel has reportedly agreed a five-year contract and will become Mikel Arteta’s fourth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Pablo Mari and Cedric on permanent deals and the free transfer capture of Willian from Chelsea.
His arrival will also bolster Arsenal’s defensive options and he will join Mari, David Luiz and returning loanee William Saliba amongst Arteta’s centre-back contingent, whilst the signing of the Brazilian is also likely to accelerate the north London side’s fire sale of unwanted talent.
Arsenal currently have seven centre-backs in their first-team squad ahead of Gabriel’s impending arrival, the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Rob Holding and Callum Chambers all likely to be available for transfer as Arteta bids to raise further funds, the Gunners having faced stiff criticism for their transfer activity while taking a decision to make 55 staff members redundant.
Player Analysis: What will Willian bring to Mikel Arteta’s rejuvenated Arsenal side?