Arsenal Beat Manchester United And Napoli To £22m-Rated Lille Star Gabriel Magalhaes

By Simon Jones

  • Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign young Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes
  • The 22-year-old centre-back has generated plenty of interest from elite clubs
  • But Arsenal are set to win the race for his signature ahead of United and Napoli

Arsenal have won the race to sign highly-rated Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille after beating off interest from Manchester United and Napoli.

The Brazilian centre-back, valued at £22million, has been coveted by a host of teams this summer after an impressive season and now the Gunners have agreed a deal to take him to the Emirates ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

Magalhaes started 23 domestic games for the Ligue 1 side as he helped them to a fourth-placed finish before the French top-flight was scrapped early due to coronavirus. Arsenal have been prioritising reinforcements in defence after finishing eighth in the Premier League table last season, shipping 48 goals, and Magalhaes should help to add some steel and add freshness to the Gunners’ backline.

Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (R) fights for the ball with Montpellier’s French forward Gaetan Laborde during the French L1 football match between Lille OSC (LOSC) and Montpellier Herault Sport Club (MHSC) at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, on December 13, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

The north London side have already had dealings with Lille in the past after signing Nicolas Pepe for £72m last summer and have benefited from the existing relationship.

He should be joined by another youthful presence in defence after William Saliba linked up with the club after spending last season on loan with St Etienne. Magalhaes, who has also enjoyed experience in the Champions League, was on the radar of Manchester United, who are also keen to strengthen their defensive options, while Napoli were also said to be monitoring his progress.

Arsenal defenders came under fire last season after a number of high profile mistakes led to goals, most notably from David Luiz. The Gunners ended the season on a high as they beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final last month to confirm a place in the Europa League.

Source: Mailonline

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