Napoli Rival Arsenal With Late Improved Contract Offer to Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal target Gabriel Magalhaes will now choose his own destiny this summer, with Lille satisfied that three clubs have matched their asking price for the Brazilian centre-back. The decision about where he moves will therefore be ‘entirely’ down to the player.

Although Arsenal are thought to have agreed a £22m deal with Lille earlier this week, seemingly making the Gunners favourites to win the race, Napoli are now reported to have increased their own offer to Gabriel in an effort to lure him to Italy.

Sky Sports suggest it is a ‘big salary deal’ that has come late from Stadio San Paolo.

Everton are named as the third club alongside Arsenal and Napoli to have met Lille’s asking price for Gabriel. However, the Toffees, although once favourites, are now described as ‘out of the running’.

That suggests Gabriel’s future will be a 50/50 choice between Arsenal and Napoli.

“We clearly told him what our expectations were, we spoke to a number of clubs, our expectations were met by a number of clubs and we have given him the time to decide,” Lille president Gerard Lopez had told Sky Sports earlier this week.

“It is going to be entirely his decision. We tend to try and steer our players in certain directions, but at the end of the day it's the player's decision.

“He is a super guy and a great football player and he wants to play. There has been a lot of interest but we have clearly decided to close the door to further clubs at this stage and let him choose.”

Both Arsenal and Napoli have recent experience of conducting high profile deals with Lille following the respective captures of forwards Nicolas Pepe and Victor Osimhen this year and last.

Napoli’s intention is that Gabriel would be a replacement for Kalidou Kouliably, who the club are ready to sell and is of serious interest to Manchester City. Chelsea are also keenly monitoring the 29-year-old Senegal international, while Manchester United could become interested if they are able to successfully offload some of their existing deadwood.

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Source : 90min