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Arsenal ‘just hours away from agreement with Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes’

Arsenal are reportedly just hours away from reaching an agreement with Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes. 

The Gunners faced a late rival swoop from Napoli for the 22-year-old Brazilian but he is expected to turn down the Serie A side in favour of Mikel Arteta’s men. 

According to L’Equipe, Magalhaes is ‘only hours away from reaching a contractual agreement with Arsenal on a five-year deal’.

The French publication state that a deal has never been closer between both parties. 

Sky Sports had earlier claimed that Napoli’s late offer was being seriously considered by the central defender. 

But it seems he is now on course for a transfer from Ligue 1 to the Premier League in the coming days with Lille insisting a decision will be made by the end of this week. 

Napoli had already signed his team-mate Victor Osimhen who could have helped Magalhaes settle in Italy but it is understood that the centre-back is keen on linking up with fellow Brazilians Willian and David Luiz in north London. 

Lille president Gerard Lopez, had earlier told Sky Italia: ‘We clearly told him what our expectations were, we spoke to a number of clubs, our expectations were met by a number of clubs and we have given him the time to decide.

‘It is going to be entirely his decision. We tend to try and steer our players in certain directions, but at the end of the day it’s the player’s decision.’ 

Magalhaes was hugely impressive for Lille last season with 23 domestic appearances in their fourth placed finish before coronavirus brought about an early finish to the season in France. 

Evidently Arteta is looking to strengthen at the back and it could be a new look backline next term with William Saliba having joined his new team-mates for the first time after being loaned back to St Etienne for a year. 

Pablo Mari’s loan move from Flamengo was also made permanent but he is out with a serious injury until October.  

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