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Gabriel Magalhães to sign for Arsenal next week

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The pursuit is almost over

Lille OSC vs Anderlecht - Friendly Match Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Arsenal’s pursuit of Gabriel Magalhães is nearing a successful conclusion. The Brazilian centre back, 22, has decided to join Arsenal, with a bid for up to £27m having been accepted by Lille last week. Gabriel Magalhães also had an offer from Napoli, and there were reports that Manchester United were interested for the player. Arsenal, though, were persistent, and their persistence has paid off, with the player reported to be arriving in London for a medical on Monday.

Gabriel would be the third Brazilian centre back to join the club over the last five seasons, following David Luiz and Gabriel Paulista. This Gabriel, though, is left-footed, and it seems to be of some significance that since Mikel Arteta arrived at the club, Arsenal will have signed two left-footed centre backs: Pablo Mari, and Gabriel.

It also means that Arsenal are likely to sell at least one, if not two centre backs. Currently, there are seven centre backs on the books: Sokratis, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, David Luiz, and William Saliba. While Pablo Mari, Mustafi, and Chambers are have long-term injuries, that still would leave Arsenal with a significant number, and given the club’s finances, this move should get the ball rolling on departures.