Reported Everton target Gabriel Magalhaes was seemingly close to a switch to Goodison Park just a few weeks ago but a report from France Football now claims the Toffees have been overtaken in the race for his services.
Gabriel, who was also linked to Tottenham and Arsenal in January (Daily Mail), made the move to Lille from Brazilian outfit Avai back in 2016 for just £1.5million, and became a key member of the first team squad this season, featuring 34 times for the club in all competitions.
Everton have been heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian defender for a while now and The Independent claimed last month that the 22-year-old had passed Toffees medical checks offsite ahead of a potential £27million move.
However, with the global health crisis bringing football to a standstill, progress appears to have stalled at the Everton end, with Area Napoli previously reporting that the Toffees wanted the situation to subside before crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s.
That same report from Italy went on to say that Lille have since received other offers for Gabriel, which he was seemingly considering, and France Football now claims that Napoli are now ahead in the race, adding that a deal could be closed for just £22.5million.
Gabriel has been sensational for Lille this season – an “absolute machine”, according to president Gerard Lopez (Sky Sports) – and his skills and efforts as a left-footed centre back could help bolster an Everton defence which has blown hot and cold.
Going by the Area Napoli report, while it’s completely understandable for negotiations to be halted in wake of what’s currently going on in the world, it reportedly gave the player time to consider other offers, and it would be incredibly unfortunate were Everton to miss out on Gabriel due to this.