Arsenal are monitoring the progress of 21-year-old Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes ahead of January, but there are some complications to a potential deal.

FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 21: Gabriel Magalhaes of Lille competes for the ball with Kieran Dowell of Everton during the match between Everton FC and LOSC Lille for Algarve Football Cup 2018 at Estadio do Algarve on July 21, 2018, in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
FARO, PORTUGAL – JULY 21: Gabriel Magalhaes of Lille competes for the ball with Kieran Dowell of Everton during the match between Everton FC and LOSC Lille for Algarve Football Cup 2018 at Estadio do Algarve on July 21, 2018, in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

The Athletic report Arsenal are one of several clubs paying close attention to the progress of Gabriel Magalhaes with Lille. The Gunners are looking to strengthen in both defence and midfield in January if they can find a creative solution.

There are a couple of complications though. Firstly, the club are unlikely to buy a centre-back unless they can sell one. Most likely, Shkodran Mustafi. So that depends on generating some interest in the German defender.

Secondly, Gabriel’s potential involvement in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Colombia would mean he misses five Arsenal games. Not ideal, given it would disrupt his ability to settle in.

In favour of the move, there’s the Brazilian connection between Gabriel and new Arsenal technical director Edu. Gabriel will also know Arsenal’s summer signing Martinelli. Plus, Arsenal did business with Lille over the summer, so they have a relationship.

Perhaps the deal is still too complicated for the January window, but it’s one worth keeping an eye on.

Gabriel is already up to 23 appearances for Lille this season, helping the club up into third place in Ligue 1 with seven clean sheets in 16 league appearances. He also kept a clean sheet against Monaco in their Coupe de la Ligue win this month.

The defender is strong in the air, likes a long pass, and he’s left-footed. That would make him the only left-footed centre-back at the club even after William Saliba’s arrival. A useful asset.

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