Gabriel ‘dreaming’ of Arsenal transfer because of three players as deal inches closer

Gabriel Magalhaes is dreaming of playing for Arsenal in the Premier League next season as the Gunners close in on a £22million deal for the defender.

Arsenal have had a bid accepted by Lille for the Brazilian, as have Napoli, and have been waiting to learn the player’s decision.

And according to fresh reports Gabriel is keen to move to the Emirates despite rival interest also from Manchester United, Everton and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 22-year-old could cost Arsenal up to £27m but could help form a new-look back-line next term alongside William Saliba.

Gabriel lit up Ligue 1 last term for fourth-placed Lille and has piqued the attention of clubs across Europe.

And the Daily Star claim that it is Arsenal who the centre-half sees himself playing for next term.

They say that part of the player’s desire to move to north London is to link up with the three other Brazilians already at the club.

Arsenal added Willian to their clutch of South Americans this summer, with David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli also representing Brazil at London Colney, after he joined on a free from Chelsea.

A source close to the player said: “It is Gabriel’s dream to play in the Premier League – for Arsenal.”

The Londoners will hope to get a deal over the line in the next few days.

Lille president Gerard Lopez said of Gabriel’s future to talkSPORT on Thursday: “I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal are a high interest to him, Napoli is a high interest to him.

“We’ve given him plenty of time to make up his mind.

“We’ve always said, ‘look if we have an agreement with two clubs or three clubs and the agreements are the same then we are not going to create a bidding competition’.

“It’s always fair. We always say ‘whenever we have the number that we want you are free to choose’.

“And that choice, I don’t think I’m giving up too much if I tell you that that choice is probably today or tomorrow.

“I’m unable to tell you what that choice is. We’ve given him some recommendations but we don’t like to talk about it in public because we don’t want people to feel bad.

“We’ve talked about where he should go but at the end of the day he and his environment make a choice and we support that.”

Gabriel would become their fourth summer signing after Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Willian and would take their overall outlay to near £40m.

And once a switch is completed, Arteta will then seemingly turn his attentions to player sales given the excess of central defenders at the club.

Arsenal are also imminently expected to announce that captain and talismanic goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year, £250,000-a-week contract.

The Gabon international is currently in the final 12 months of his existing deal and had the option to run down his deal or leave the Emirates this summer in search of a new challenge.

But after firing Arsenal to FA Cup glory with a brace against Chelsea, he will stick around in hope of leading Arteta’s side to a first top-four finish since 2015-16.

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