Manchester United hope to sign Lille central defender Gabriel Magalhaes from under the nose of Premier League rivals Arsenal after submitting a late offer for the Brazilian star.
Arsenal have been leading the race to sign the 22-year-old defender after agreeing a £22.7m deal with Ligue 1 side Lille for the player.
Napoli also had a bid accepted but Gabriel is believed to favour a move to Arsenal and the Gunners had hoped to make the confirmation of the Brazilian’s decision to join them in the next 24 hours.
However, Gianluca Di Marzio claims that the Red devils made an offer for the Lille star on Friday and that Gabriel wants more time to consider his options.
Arsenal had been confident of completing the deal but Manchester United can match the £22.7m fee and would be able to offer higher wages than Arteta’s side, as well as the lure of playing in the Champions League.
Gabriel is now said to need two more days to make a decision and Arsenal will be fretting that he has had his head turned by a transfer move to Old Trafford.
Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed on Thursday – before United’s reported bid – that Gabriel was set to choose between Arsenal and Napoli.
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‘I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal is of high interest to him, Napoli is of high interest to him,’ Lopez told talkSPORT.
‘We’ve given him plenty of time to make up his mind…whenever we have the number that we want (in terms of fee), feel free to choose.
‘I don’t think I’m giving up too much if I tell you that choice is going to be made probably between today and tomorrow.
‘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 or whatever. But yes, we’ve told him where we think he could and should go.
‘But at the end of the day, he and his environment make their choice and we support that’.