Everton are in negotiations with Lille over the possibility of signing Gabriel Magalhaes, who had been on the radars of Arsenal and Tottenham in the past.
According to a report from The Independent, Everton have begun talks with Ligue 1 outfit LOSC Lille as they look to sign Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes in the summer transfer window. The 22-year-old had been a transfer target for the Toffees’ Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the past.
Gabriel started out at the academy of Avai FC in Brazil, before signing for Lille in the summer of 2017. The centre-back had loan spells away at Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb before becoming a part of the Lille first-team since the 2018-19 campaign, during which he featured 17 times in all competitions.
Gabriel has grown into an integral member of the team in the ongoing campaign, having already racked up 33 appearances across all competitions, scoring a solitary goal. The Brazilian featured in all of Lille’s Champions League encounters while he has missed only four of their 27 league matches.
Gabriel’s growth with Lille this season had seen him attract interest from Arsenal and Tottenham during the January transfer window. However, nothing materialised on that front as Arsenal opted to bring in Spaniard Pablo Mari on loan for the rest of the season, while Tottenham strengthened their midfield and attack with the signings of Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.
Everton are in talks to sign centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille. Talks between representatives and the club taking place this week. Lille will allow him to leave this summer if they receive an offer in the region of £25-£30m. (Source: The Independent)#EFC pic.twitter.com/jN1lyai6CL
— The Gwladys Street (@TheGwladysSt) March 5, 2020
And now, Everton have jumped ahead of the North London duo in the race to sign Gabriel. The report claims that the Toffees too had been monitoring the 22-year-old in January, but did not act on it as Carlo Ancelotti had taken over as the manager only recently. However, they are now set to back their new manager after having their season revive under the Italian.
Everton have Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate as the options in the centre-back department. However, recent reports have claimed that Holgate could be on his way out in the summer, amid serious interest from Manchester City. Even if the Englishman doesn’t leave, it makes sense that the Toffees would look to add more numbers to their defensive ranks.
To that end, they have decided to make a move for Gabriel in the summer. The report claims that the Toffees have already opened negotiations with Lille and the player’s representatives to explore the possibility of a transfer.
Lille, sensing the interest from Premier League clubs in January, had Gabriel sign a new contract last month, extending his stay at the club till 2023. However, the report states that they will be open to a sale in the summer window provided an offer around £25-30 million came along.
It will be interesting to see if either Arsenal or Tottenham decide to rekindle their interest in Gabriel in the summer, especially with Spurs likely to lose Jan Vertonghen, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season. If not, Everton might have a clear shot at signing the 22-year-old.