Both Chelsea and Arsenal are looking to bring in a new centre-back this summer and Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes could just be that man – as per reports.
Gabriel Magalhaes joined Lille in 2017 from Brazilian side Avai and this season he has been one of the best defenders in the whole of Ligue 1.
It’s not a surprise at all that Chelsea and Arsenal, among other clubs are interested in signing him at the end of the season, more so since he is available for a transfer fee of just £30 million.
And now speaking about all the speculation, Magalhaes has refused to rule out a move to the Premier League during the upcoming transfer window.
He recently said, as quoted: “I see it [speculation], yes. My friends send me things every day; clubs, a lot of clubs. I’m happy because my job and everything that I did, is rewarded.
“It’s not only good for me, but also for other people around,
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“But I’m happy in Lille, I’m very happy at the club. I like this club. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the goal is to bring Lille back to the Champions League again. For the rest, I’ll let my agents and the club talk about it, but I’m very happy here.”
The 22-year-old has kept 11 clean sheets in 24 Ligue 1 this season and for just £30 million he would be an absolute steal for both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Both these clubs are badly in need of defensive reinforcements and given the physical nature of Gabriel Magalhaes and his straightforward style of defending, the Brazilian could be an instant success in the Premier League.
Chelsea have had real troubles with the likes of Kurt Zouma and Tomori this campaign and Magalhaes could be a fine addition alongside Antonio Rudiger especially since Frank Lampard is frantically looking to buy a left-footed centre-back in the summer.
The Gunners are also facing similar problems since players like Sokratis, Mustafi have all been mediocre and right now the only ray of hope for Mikel Arteta is Pablo Mari.
Gabriel Magalhaes still has two years left on his current deal meaning Lille are not under too much pressure to sell him off but in January Everton did go pretty close to signing him. And hence we believe, if the two London clubs try a bit hard, one of them will surely be able to get their hands on 22-year-old.
Update(11th April 2020):
It seems like Chelsea have stolen a march in signing Magalhaes during the summer with ESPN reporting that all the parties are hopeful about a deal being struck soon enough.
This is primarily due to the fact that Arsenal are yet to make an official move for the 22-year-old which indicates to clearly indicates that Mikel Arteta also has other players in mind.
Chelsea though have clearly set their priorities but as things stand, not everything is not looking bad for the Gunners.
The same report also suggests Lille are in no mood to accept the offer right away as they believe a potential bidding war could start between the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and the other interested clubs.
The centre-back has a transfer price tag of just £30 million which makes him a very lucrative player in the market so there’s every chance both Arsenal and Chelsea could go at it for the next couple of months before Lille finally decide to send him off.