Arsenal have been very closely linked with the Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes for the last two months, and it has been reported that the Gunners have now had an offer accepted by the French side.
It certainly looks like we are going to find out for certain very shortly whether he will be following his old team-mate Nico Pepe to Arsenal or if he will choose to go to Napoli, who have widely been cited as also having an interest.
The Lille owner Gerard Lopez has now confirmed that Magalhaes is weighing up his options and expects a decision in the next week or so. Lopez told the BBC: “Gabriel is young, extremely powerful, currently right now probably one of the two most dominant central defenders in the French league,”
“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.”
Of course I think the odds are in Arsenal’s favour, considering that he will already know Pepe from his time at Lille, as well as knowing that the Gunners have his fellow Brazilians Davis Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli and now Willian to help him settle in London.
It must also be very helpful that it is our very own Brazilian, Edu, who is conducting the negotiations to bring him to the Emirates. Surely all those reasons are likely to tip him in our favour as well as the chance to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world, with the very best League in Europe at least.
I have a feeling that next week we will be welcoming our 4th Brazilian to The Arsenal, don’t you?