Arsenal are expected to sign another centre-back as Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi are being tipped to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer and Gabriel has been widely touted as Arteta’s prime target.
The Daily Mail claims that Arsenal have now agreed a deal with Lille worth £22m plus add-ons to sign Gabriel after fending off late interest from Napoli. The newspaper says the Italian club made a late attempt to hijack Arsenal’s deal but Gabriel is keen to link-up with compatriot’s David Luiz and Willian in north London.
The 22-year-old is expected to confirm his decision this week and that ties in with what The Times are reporting as they claim Gabriel has now agreed personal terms with Arsenal over a five-year contract.
The Times also suggest that Arsenal [and Napoli] have agreed a deal with Lille but they suggest that Gabriel is valued at closer to £27m – although Arsenal’s proposed deal may reach that figure if the add-ons are met.
So it looks increasingly likely that Gabriel is set to become Arsenal’s second major signing of the summer and the deal could be formally announced before the end of the week.
The Brazilian U20 international will be an exciting addition to Arteta’s squad as he’s developed into one of the most highly-rated defenders in European football following an excellent campaign in Ligue 1.
Gabriel was an integral part of the defence that helped Lille finish fourth and secure Europa League football next season and his performances attracted interest from a number of top clubs throughout Europe.
Arteta has been keen to add another left-footed centre-back to his squad since Pablo Mari was ruled out with a serious ankle injury and Gabriel fits the bill. The South American could now line-up alongside William Saliba next season after he finally arrived from Saint-Etienne.
Source: News update