Mikel Arteta’s major role in Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal as transfer nears

Gabriel Magalhaes appears to be heading to Arsenal in the immediate future.

The Brazilian has had tempting offers from Manchester United, Everton and Napoli in recent months.

However, it appears Mikel Arteta has swayed the 22-year-old with his persistence when the pair spoke over the phone.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport report Arsenal have won the race for the player's signature after the Gunners boss 'stunned' him with his insistence that the Emirates was the place for him.

The north London have reached an agreement which will see Magalhaes join for a fee of roughly £23m, rising to £27m with add-ons.

The south American will join fellow countryman Willian, who recently joined Arsenal after leaving rivals Chelsea.

United made an 11th-hour dash for Magalhaes' signature earlier this week, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempted to hijack the move to the capital.

However, the writing has been on the wall for some time that Arsenal were the clear favourites for a deal.

Each of Gabriel’s brother, sister and now father have made their own hints at a move to the Gunners, the latest of which included a well placed Instagram like from his dad Marcelo.

First of all, Gabriel’s brother Vinicius wore an Arsenal kit on his Instagram story, prompting some excited reactions from Gunners fans in the first clue at his future.

It then emerged that Gabriel’s sister Mayara had followed Arsenal's official account on Instagram, adding to even more speculation regarding a link-up with Mikel Arteta.

Finally, Gabriel’s father Marcelo liked an Instagram post that featured his son in a mocked up Arsenal shirt, which suggests that a deal is only a matter of time.

Magalhaes has always been to set to leave Lille, with president Gerard Lopez telling the BBC World Service recently: "Gabriel is young, extremely powerful, currently right now probably one of the two most dominant central defenders in the French league.

"The way we work is very simple. We explain to him and his environment, his agent, what we are looking for, and once we get those offers the choice is his, like we did with Nico [Pepe] and Victor [Oshimen].

"We are there now, so we told him: 'Eventually you have to make a decision but we're not pressing you.'

"I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving, we've given the OK for that."

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