Arsenal step up talks to sign Gabriel Magalhaes ahead of Manchester United

Arsenal have made a move to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille
Arsenal have made a move to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille (Getty Images)

Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, according to reports in France.

Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his options in defence this summer, although he already has William Saliba as a new addition following the end of his loan spell with Saint-Etienne.

Manchester United, Everton and Napoli have all been linked with a move for the 22-year-old.

But according to France Bleu Nord, Arsenal have stepped up the chase and are now leading negotiations to sign the Brazilian defender.

The report claims that Napoli were willing to offer €30 million (£27m) for Gabriel after signing Victor Osimhen, but the situation has changed and Arsenal are now ‘in a position’ to sign the centre-back.

Reports last week claimed that Gabriel’s representatives were in England to hold talks with potential buyers, with United and Everton believed to be the two teams interested.

Gabriel has also been linked with Manchester United, Everton and Napoli
Gabriel has also been linked with Manchester United, Everton and Napoli (Getty Images)

United are targeting a new central defender this summer, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed on Tuesday that Chris Smalling is back in his plans following his season-long loan with Roma.

Meanwhile, Gabriel has made it no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League following his impressive performances in the French top flight.

And Lille’s president, Gerard Lopez, admitted earlier this season that Gabriel is destined to join a top club.

‘I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now,’ said Lopez.

‘His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.

‘He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.

‘He’s been linked to two clubs in the UK and he’s clearly been linked to other clubs that have either enquired or moved forward with proposals for him, but we’re not in a hurry and we’re not playing right now.’

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