Arsenal have reportedly been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Gabriel Magalhaes, with the Lille defender having “chosen” the Emirates Stadium as his preferred destination.
Along with the Gunners, the 22-year-old centre-back has been linked with several other high-profile clubs including Manchester United, Napoli and Everton.
However, La Voix du Nord has claimed that Gabriel was impressed with the Arsenal representatives’ pitch when they spoke earlier this week, and he now wants to join the Gunners “as quickly as possible”.
The outlet adds that Napoli and Everton are no longer in the race, though Manchester United, who have qualified for the Champions League, haven’t had their “last word” and appear to still be in the race.
Gabriel made the move to Lille from Brazilian outfit Avai back in 2016 for £1.5million and became a key first-teamer last season, featuring 34 times in all competitions, with his price tag now reportedly 30million euro (around £27million).
Gabriel was sensational for Lille last season and his skills and efforts could help bolster an Arsenal defence which has struggled at times and is currently missing several players due to injury.
“He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club,” Lille president Gerard Lopez told Sky Sports back in April.
“I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.”
With Arsenal having won the FA Cup, qualified for the Europa League and looking invigorated under Mikel Arteta, things are looking up in the Gunners camp, and adding Gabriel to their ranks would be a great statement of intent.