Gabriel Magalhaes to Sit Out Lille Fixture With Arsenal Move Close

Aug 22, 2020, 4:15 PM GMT+1
Gabriel Dos Santos Magalhaes
Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Gabriel | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images
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Gabriel Magalhaes is set to sit out Lille's Ligue 1 fixture with Rennes on Saturday night, with Arsenal confident that their deal to sign him is near completion.

The transfer could be worth up to £27m, and was initially expected to go through without a hitch a couple of days ago as Arsenal made a concrete move to sign him. Manchester United are reported to have come into the equation late in the day, giving the player something to think about, but their interest has not developed.

Gabriel Dos Santos Magalhaes
Gabriel has emerged as one of Ligue 1's most exciting young centre-backs | Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Fabrizio Romano reported that the Gunners "increased their offer" for Gabriel in the wake of the interest from United in order to get the deal done - which looks an awful lot like some very convenient tactics from his representatives to earn the best deal. But it does now look like the move to north London is imminent.

The Times report that the medical has since taken place, though the player's representatives and his club deny it.

Gabriel enjoyed a very successful 2019/20 season before Ligue 1 was cut short, making 34 appearances in all competitions and helping his side finish fourth.

His performances have seen him attract plenty of interest, but Arsenal have been frontrunners for a while and have beaten off interest from a number of other competitors.

Napoli had earmarked the player to be the replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, who is attracting interest from Manchester City and Chelsea, while Everton even got close enough to the player to put him through a medical of their own a number of months ago before the coronavirus outbreak stopped proceedings.

Il Corriere dello Sport (via Napoli Magazine), claim that Napoli have turned their attention to Arsenal's Sokratis, and Arsenal will consider it as another massive transfer window victory if their interest is followed up.

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