Arsenal have reportedly tabled an offer for Gabriel Magalhaes but face an uphill battle in pursuit of the 22-year-old Lille defender.
As reported by The Sun, who have relayed information from a report by L’Equipe, Arsenal are keen on signing Gabriel Magalhaes in the summer transfer window. The Gunners, though, are lagging behind in the race to sign the Brazilian, with Napoli in the driver’s seat.
Gabriel Magalhaes joined Lille from boyhood club Avai FC in January 2017, but took his time to carve out a place for himself in the first-team setup. After a couple of loan spells, the 22-year-old was only a squad option last season. The current campaign, though, has seen him become a regular at Stade Pierre Mauroy.
The player turned out 34 times in all competitions for Les Dogues, missing just two Ligue 1 games when fit and available. His progress has been noticed by a number of well known clubs across Europe, with Arsenal among those that are hoping to secure his services in the summer transfer window.
The interest from Arsenal comes as a bit of a surprise. The Gunners recently handed David Luiz a new one-year deal while Pablo Mari has also been signed permanently. In addition to the duo, Mikel Arteta also has the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Sokratis at his disposal, with William Saliba set to join with the squad ahead of next season as well.
In such a scenario, it is hard to see how the Arsenal manager is going to accommodate Gabriel, even if he offloads one or two centre-backs. Nevertheless, it seems like Arsenal are eager to sign the 22-year-old this summer, having already lodged an offer for him with Lille. However, L’Equipe have reported that Napoli are the leaders in the chasing pack for the Brazilian defender.
Indeed, it has long been reported that Napoli and Arsenal are among the clubs that have the player in their sights. The Partenopei might need to sign a centre-back after all this summer, with the future of Kalidou Koulibaly up in the air.
While Gabriel has previously iterated his desire to play in the Premier League one day, with Napoli leading the race to sign him, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal, or even Everton, can do anything to turn the tide in this transfer saga. For now, the Lille star remains a popular figure in the transfer market.