Arsenal appear to have won the race for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes. According to various reports Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to bring him to the Emirates stadium this summer.

Magalhães, 22, joined Lille back in 2017 – he enjoyed an impressive campaign in 2019-2020 before the Ligue 1 season was cut short due to the Covid19 pandemic. Last season was his first full term in the French topflight. A number of top clubs across Europe have taken notice of his performances and have shown an interest.

According to Lille’s owner Gerard Lopez he confirmed that the club have already agreed to allow Gabriel to leave the club this summer. The Daily Mail also reports that Arsenal have ‘won the race’ as they have reached an agreement with Lille for the player. The club valued Magalhaes at around £22 million. A fee that is within the reach of the North London club.

The Gunners benefited from their positive relationship with Lille. They signed Nicolas Pepe from them last summer in a club record £72 million deal. Lopez also confirmed that the club are happy to allow their star players leave as long as their valuations are met.

Manchester United, Everton and Napoli have also shown an interest in the player. The Red Devils are holding talks with the player’s representatives. However, Arsenal entered the race very late and they have moved quickly to place themselves in a pole position.

Gabriel is keen on a move to Arsenal. According to reports he has even agreed personal terms with the north London outfit.

Napoli are also in the race, and it is considered that the influence of Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis is stalling the deal according to reports from Italy.

The arrival of Gabriel will come as a major boost for Mikel Arteta as he looks to strengthen his defence. Should Gabriel complete a move to the Emirates in the coming days, he would become Arsenal’s second signing ahead of next season after Willian joined on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas who plies his trade in France is confident that the young defender is capable of making the cut for his old side. He stated that his strength and ball playing ability will be a huge assert for manager Arteta.