GABRIEL MAGALHAES’ Arsenal move took another huge step closer with Lille set to omit the Brazilian centre-back from Saturday night’s Ligue 1 opener.
The Gunners have leapt back in front of Manchester United and Napoli in the race for the £22million-rated 22-year-old.
Lille star man Gabriel Magalhaes is tipped to join Arsenal within days[/caption]
Senegal and Napoli superstar Kalidou Koulibaly is poised to join Man City[/caption]
And despite Napoli agreeing to sell star defender Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester City, the Italians are now thought to be prioritising Shakhtar Donetsk’s Ukraine ace Mykola Matvienko as his replacement.
RMC Sport journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi claims Lille will leave Gabriel out of their squad at home to Rennes in the French top-flight opener “but do not want to complete a deal on match day”.
The under-20 international has been rated the main defensive target of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta all summer.
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But United briefly appeared to have overtaken the Gunners in the hunt for Gabriel as Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks for alternatives to expensive options like City-bound Koulibaly.
Solskjaer is also keen to find a long-term partner at the back for troubled skipper Harry Maguire, especially as question marks remain about the England superstar’s current pairing with Victor Lindelof.
Now, though, Arsenal are said to have agreed a five-year contract with Gabriel.
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United could offer him Champions League football but he might well think the Gunners can provide quicker and more stable progress, with a regular start likely from the off.
Anyone arriving from France needs to self-isolate for 14 days.
So if Gabriel does join the FA Cup winners he surely would be unavailable to face Premier League champions Liverpool in next Saturday’s Community Shield at Wembley.