Arsenal 'Closing in' on Lille Defender Gabriel Magalhães

Arsenal are pushing forward with a deal to sign Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhães, but Napoli are doing their best to try and land the Brazilian ahead of them.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a fantastic breakout year in Ligue 1, steering Lille to fourth place by conceding just 27 goals across their 28 games - the third-lowest total in the entire division.

That kind of success has caught the eye of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who is desperate to find some more defensive stability after an inconsistent year at the back. Gabriel has moved to the top of his wish list, and The Telegraph state that a deal is now not far away.

Arsenal are believed to have agreed personal terms with the Brazilian, although Napoli are said to feel as though they are leading the race for his signature in a deal which could be worth close to the £27m mark.

As of yet, Gabriel has not made a final decision. Fabrizio Romano notes that he is still considering offers from other sides, with Manchester United recently throwing their hat into the ring as well, and Mohamed Bouhafsi believes a decision will come by Wednesday.

Calciomercato add that Napoli are stalling, likely while they figure out whether Kalidou Koulibaly will still be at the club next season, but there is a gentleman's agreement between the two clubs that Napoli will have a fair chance of signing Gabriel stemming from the deal that took Victor Osimhen from France to Italy earlier this summer.

That has given Arsenal plenty of time to speak with Gabriel, and all the signs suggest that the Brazilian would be interested in moving to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

His eventual departure seemed to take another step forward as Gabriel was completely omitted from the matchday squad for Lille's friendly against Brest on Sunday, suggesting the French side are already preparing for life without him.

Lille are ready to sell at the right price and it seems like Arsenal are ready to meet those demands, but Napoli's interest means the Gunners can't be certain of getting this one over the line just yet.

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Source : 90min