Arsenal are set to complete a deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes in the next 24 hours with the Brazilian player set to undergo a medical at the Emirates on Thursday.
Lille accepted offers from Arsenal and Napoli but the 22-year-old central defender has now chosen to join Mikel Arteta’s side.
Mikel Arteta identified the club’s defence as a major weakness when he arrived last December and his tactics in the second half of the season were designed to cover-up Arsenal’s deficienccies at the back.
However, the Spaniard manager wants to play a more expansive brand of football next campaign and he believes that Gabriel – along with William Saliba – will allow him to play a higher line in the Premier League.
According to reports, Gabriel will arrive in London tomorrow to undergo his medical and he will put pen to paper on a five-year deal with the club.
The Brazilian’s centre-back a major coup for Arsenal and Arteta, particularly because of the level of interest in him.
Seria A side Napoli pushed relentlessly for his signature, while Manchester United also entered the race in recent days but to no avail.
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Gabriel will become Arsenal’s second signing of the summer after the arrival of Willian Borges on a free transfer from Chelsea.
Arteta wants to add Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and he’s also interested in signing a full-back.
However, it’s likely after the arrival of Gabriel that the gunners will sanction a number of departures to balance the books – Mesut Ozil, Guendouzi, Calum Chambers, Sokratis, Rob Holding and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are all available.