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Report: Arsenal in pole position to sign 22-year-old defender deemed an ‘absolute machine’

(Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Arsenal

Report: Arsenal in pole position to sign 22-year-old defender deemed an ‘absolute machine’

Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from under the noses of Napoli, according to France Bleu.

The French outlet claims that the Serie A side had been in pole position to snap up the Lille defender, but the situation has now changed.

Arsenal have reportedly taken an interest in Gabriel and are now in a position to snap him up and bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

(Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Gabriel made the move to Lille from Brazilian outfit Avai back in 2016 for just £1.5million and became a key first-teamer last season, featuring 34 times in all competitions.

The 22-year-old’s impressive form and credentials has seen him linked with numerous other clubs in recent months, including Everton and Manchester United.

“I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now,” Lille president Gerard Lopez told Sky Sports back in April.

 

“His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.

“He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.”

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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.

Interestingly, should the Gunners pull this move off, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve snapped up a player after he was linked with Napoli.

Lucas Torreira, Nicolas Pepe and Kieran Tierney were said to be on the Partenopei’s radar, but now they’re all on Arsenal’s books.

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