Arsenal are on the brink of signing Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes and hope to complete the €30m (£27m) deal early next week, with Manchester United now stalling over their renewed interest in the Brazilian.
United had contacted Magalhaes’ representatives late last week, just as Arsenal had grown increasingly confident of winning the race for the defender, provoking a further delay to the saga as talks continued between Magalhaes’ camp and both clubs.
However, The Independent understands that, while United continue to ask Gabriel’s camp to delay his decision, they are still yet to lodge an official bid with Lille and are now set to miss out on the 22-year-old.
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Arsenal have agreed a five-year deal with Magalhaes and – barring another unforeseen late twist – the Brazil U20 international will become Arsenal’s fourth signing at centre-back in the past two years.
An agreement has been in place between Arsenal and Lille for a length of time now, but it was left to Magalhaes to deliberate over his options, with Napoli also striking a deal with the French club.
Despite being Napoli’s No 1 defensive target, the Italian club’s intentions are contingent on their ability to sell star defender Kalidou Koulibaly this summer.
“We gave him plenty of time to make a decision,” Lille’s owner, Gerard López, said of Magalhaes earlier this week. “We gave him some advice but in the end he and his entourage will make a choice and we will support it.”
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