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Gabriel Magalhaes linked with Saudi Arabia transfer

Yeah, this one ain’t happening.

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Clubs in Saudi Arabia are interested in moving for Arsenal centerback Gabriel Magalhaes. The Saudi Pro League have been targeting players from the European leagues with big money moves, although for the most part, the players bought have been older, established stars rather than younger players entering their prime. It would (or at least should) take a significant amount of money to pry the 25-year old centerback away from the Gunners.

Arsenal would also need to have an immediate replacement lined up, which as far as I can tell, they don’t. Notwithstanding his Matchday 1 omission from the starting lineup, Gabriel is an every-week starter for the Gunners. The club bought the Brazilian in 2020 from Lille for £27M, and he has quietly been one of the top centerbacks in the Premier League since earning a starting role. Clubs challenging for titles don’t sell players like that, especially not once the season has begun.

It’s just a little too convenient for my taste that the news of Saudi interest in Gabriel broke shortly after he was dropped from the lineup. It doesn’t pass the smell test. At all. The clubs might be interested in Gabriel, but I highly doubt Arsenal will sell.

Gabriel signed a contract extension last fall — why would he push for a move away so soon after committing his future to the Gunners? To be fair, there are speculative suggestions he might be miffed at the significant pay gap between himself and William Saliba. According to the information available (which may or may not be accurate), Saliba makes nearly four times what Gabriel does. The salary stuff seems like searching for a reason rather than something grounded in real sentiment coming from the player and his camp.

Regardless, Gabriel had started 73 consecutive Premier League matches before Mikel Arteta left him out against Nottingham Forest. He’s almost certainly coming right back into the starting lineup against Crystal Palace. I don’t think that 1 in 75 is enough to create any kind of discontent.

And hel was just named a vice captain of the squad. He has strong ties to Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. The Gunners just lost a defender to injury. Gabriel is not going anywhere right now.