Arsenal have been linked with a move to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille this summer, and the club’s owner has stated that he will be headed for the exit.
The Brazilian defender has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in Ligue 1 this season, with the 22 year-old earning a regular first-team role.
Arsenal are now believed to be keen on bringing him to North London following his successful breakthrough season, where he could be paired by fellow Ligue 1 sensation William Saliba, who played a starring role for St Etienne this term.
Lille owner Gerard Lopez has further added fuel to the speculative fire by revealing that Gabriel will be allowed to leave this summer, adding that he may reveal his destination ‘this or next week’.
“Gabriel is young, extremely powerful, currently right now probably one of the two most dominant central defenders in the French league,” Lopez told BBC Sport.
“The way we work is very simple. We explain to him and his environment, his agent, what we are looking for, and once we get those offers the choice is his, like we did with Nico [Pepe] and Victor [Oshimen].
“We are there now, so we told him: ‘Eventually you have to make a decision but we’re not pressing you.’ I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving, we’ve given the OK for that.
“There’s a lot of competition. He’s a young player so he’s got to make sure he makes the right decision. We help him out a little bit so we tell him: ‘We think this might be the right manager or club for you.’
“He’s got so much talent, he will succeed wherever he goes.”
Would Gabriel and Saliba be able to form a long-standing partnership in the Arsenal defence?