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Arsenal have agreed a fee with Lille for Gabriel Magalhaes, according to reports.
The in-demand former Brazil youth international impressed in Ligue 1 last season as his side secured a position of fourth, and president Gerard Lopez announced last week that the player intended to leave this summer.
Manchester United, Everton and Napoli were all said to have been tracking the 22-year-old, but a series of hints from his family suggested that the Emirates was to be his destination.
Gabriel looks set to join the Gunners for a fee close to his £22m valuation, and will offer Mikel Arteta a fresh face in defence which will help them build on their FA Cup final win over Chelsea.
The Mail have reported that Arsenal are set to win the race for the signature and have agreed a deal with his parent club ahead of the Community Shield showdown against Liverpool on August 29.
Arteta’s side conceded 48 goals in the Premier League last season and the Spaniard could see Gabriel as the perfect partner for the returning William Saliba after his loan at St Etienne.
Lille chief Lopez has been open about the future of the defender, stating last week that the player will leave and that he is not short of options.
“He is one of the players that we allowed to exit the club this summer, he asked for it and wants to try something else,” he told Sky Sports.
“We clearly told him what our expectations were, we spoke to a number of clubs, our expectations were met by a number of clubs and we have given him the time to decide.
“It is going to be entirely his decision. We tend to try and steer our players in certain directions, but at the end of the day it’s the player’s decision. I know he is going to make a decision early next week.
“He is a super guy and a great football player and he wants to play, there has been a lot of interest but we have clearly decided to close the door to further clubs at this stage and let him choose.”
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Arteta said of his transfer plans back in June: “We have to put a plan [in place] to improve our squad, that’s first, fulfil the ambitions that we have, have the right players to support the talented young players that we have.
“They are still in the very early stages of their development and we have to know that, but we don’t have time.
“The demands of this football club are huge and we cannot stay still. We have to change things, we have to improve them.
“The most important thing is not about keeping [players], it is about improving them, convince them of what we are trying to do and get them performing and winning football matches.”
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