Napoli identify Arsenal transfer target if Gunners win Gabriel Magalhaes race

Napoli have identified an Arsenal player as a transfer target if they miss out to the Gunners on Gabriel Magalhaes.

The teams have been locked in a transfer battle this summer for the Lille defender – but Mikel Arteta’s side appear to be getting the advantage.

And the Brazilian himself has expressed a preference for north London over a move to Serie A.

But reports from Italy suggest that Napoli could look to the Emirates Stadium for an alternative to Magalhaes.

Journalist Ciro Venerato says they have identified Shkodran Mustafi as a plan B.

Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, he said: “Until September 5th, the French want to wait for the Azzurri, the price of the card is around 25 million euro, everything could jump if the boy accepts another team.

“If Gabriel fades? At that point Napoli will turn to a plan B, in addition to Sokratis [Papastathopoulos], there is also talk of Mustafi, also coming out of Arsenal.

“Another name, an old scouting obsession would be [Jean-Clair] Todibo of Barcelona.”

Mustafi became a regular for Arteta since lockdown before a key injury picked up in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

And it has seen the German emerged as one of the names that could make way for the arrival of Magalhaes.

While Sokratis played just two minutes post-lockdown, having been a regular for Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery.

Magallanes has enjoyed an impressive season with Lille, which saw him earn praise from club owner Gerard Lopez as Arsenal had a bid accepted last week.

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He said: "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.

"There's a lot of competition. He's a young player so he's got to make sure he makes the right decision.

"We help him out a little bit so we tell him: 'We think this might be the right manager or club for you.'

"He's got so much talent, he will succeed wherever he goes."

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