Arsenal are on the verge of signing Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes with the player set to undergo a medical at the Emirates ahead of a £27m move.
Mikel Arteta is set to bolster his defensive options with the capture of the highly-rated youngster from Lille, the north London side having seen off strong competition from both Napoli and Everton for his signature, whilst a late approach from Manchester United is unlikely to prevent the completion of the deal in the coming days.
Gabriel has attracted the interest of several leading sides following his performances for the French side last season, the 22-year-old producing a series of impressive displays to help Lille secure a fourth-placed finish and qualification to next season’s Europa League.
According to the Guardian, the centre-back will undergo a medical this week ahead of signing a five-year deal with Arsenal, a breakthrough having been found to make the defender the Gunners’ fourth signing of a busy summer.
Gabriel’s arrival will follow the free transfer signing of Willian from Premier League rivals Chelsea, alongside the permanent additions of loanees Cedric and Pablo Mari.
Manchester United are believed to have made late contact as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues his pursuit of a left-footed centre-back this summer, though The Independent are reporting that the Red Devils had asked the defender to delay his decision – a request that now looks set to cost the club a valuable addition as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s continues to stall in the summer’s transfer market.
Gabriel’s arrival is also likely to lead to the sales of several first-ream players with Arsenal now possessing eight central defenders in their overstocked defensive ranks, the Brazilian joining the aforementioned Mari and returning loanee William Saliba in Arteta’s squad, alongside Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, David Luiz, Rob Holding and Callum Chambers.
Luiz has recently penned a new one-year deal and is expected to stay, though Mustafi, Sokratis and Holding all look surplus to requirements and could be sold – alongside midfield duo Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in a bid to raise further funds.
Arsenal’s transfer business has caused controversy following the club’s announcement of 55 staff redundancies in bid to cut costs amid the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with funds needing to be raised from player sales if Arteta is to secure his priority additions.
The Gunners are keen to sign an additional midfielder and forward this summer, whilst Arteta is also working on a deal to extend Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid into a second season.