Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly lagging behind Everton, who are in the pole position to sign Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Ligue 1 club Lille.
ESPN claim Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton are all pursuing Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The Brazilian star’s signature is being hotly contested by the Premier League trio, with Everton holding the lead over others in the pursuit, as per The Sun.
The Sun’s report actually claims that Everton have all but sealed the deal, with Gabriel having already completed a medical ahead of a move to Merseyside. The deal to beat Chelsea and Arsenal is set to be worth more than £20 million, with the Lille star set to earn around £35,000 per week at Everton.
Gabriel Magalhaes was having a breakout season in Ligue 1 until the suspension of football due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 22-year-old has proven to be technically adept on the ball and at the same time be robust enough, making him the perfect fusion of modern-day and legacy defence, which makes him an ideal target for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton.
Mikel Arteta has been longing for a solid foundation in defence and his current options have failed to convince him otherwise so far. William Saliba will be returning from his loan at Saint Etienne but the Arsenal boss is keen to add another quality centre-back to his options, preferably one who can be a starter and not a squad player.
— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) April 16, 2020
Frank Lampard has championed his first managerial season at Chelsea, except tightening the noose at the back. Fikayo Tomori has repaid the faith shown in him by his manager. But, others have failed to be consistent enough to not warrant addition in the centre-back area.
Everton have on the other hand, done well so far under Carlo Ancelotti. But, the Italian manager will be keen to bring in defensive reinforcements while also trying to shape the squad in his managerial vision. Gabriel could be the key to unlocking Everton’s defensive sturdiness.
As per the report, the Toffees are close to seasling the deal for Gabriel, which would see the Lille star snub the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal for Merseyside. This could be a tactful decision from the 22-year-old, who would be guaranteed a starting position at Everton when compared to the possibility of it at Chelsea and Arsenal.
Gabriel follows the new age of thought in football where players have time and again preferred squad status over club stature and reputation in these decisions; an idea that was evidenced by Jadon Sancho’s preference to sign for Dortmund, which has paid off massively for the Englishman.