Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes is getting closer to a move to Arsenal, according to various reports.

Lille's Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (L) fights for the ball with Rennes' Senegalese forward Mbaye Niang (R)during the French L1 Football match between Rennes (SRFC) and Lille (LOSC), on September 22, 2019, at the Roazhon Park, in Rennes, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)
Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes (L) fights for the ball on September 22, 2019. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)

Various reports and rumours floating around on Sunday suggest Gabriel Magalhaes is closing in on a summer move to Arsenal.

Arseblog posted on Sunday morning that a “left-footed central defender is close to signing”, without naming names. Football.London wrote that they understand that Arsenal have a keen interest in Gabriel. Goal also confirmed the interest in the central defender last week.

Le10Sport then reported that Arsenal and Napoli both submitted €30m offers for Gabriel, which Lille accepted, and it’s just a matter of the player picking his next club.

Jason Burt from the Telegraph says that Gabriel has picked Arsenal:

http://dailycannon.com/2020/08/gabriel-magalhaes-arsenal-shirt-number-what-could-it-be-if-he-does-sign/

We can’t start calling it a done deal just yet, however.

Manchester United have also been in the race for the last few weeks and could make a last-ditch effort to steal the transfer away.

But the rumours are growing that Gabriel is now close.

Future Arsenal teammates? Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) vies with Lille's Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes during the UEFA Champion's League Group H football match between Chelsea and Lille at Stamford Bridge in London on December 10, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Future Arsenal teammates? Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) vies with Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes during the UEFA Champion’s League Group H football match between Chelsea and Lille at Stamford Bridge in London on December 10, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Personally, I’m a big fan of this move.

Gabriel is strong in the air, a great tackler and left-footed, which really helps his case. At 22, he still has a long future in football ahead of him, so he’s a potential long-term partner to William Saliba.

It’s the kind of signing that could immediately improve the starting lineup whilst also boosting Arsenal’s long-term options. If it helps convince one or two fringe centre-backs in the squad to move on, that’s a bonus.

Arsenal will hope the Brazilian connection to technical director Edu will help get the move over the line ahead of the competitors now.