Napoli ‘make a huge 11th-hour offer to Gabriel Magalhaes’ in a bid to snatch him from Arsenal as £22m Lille defender faces a big decision on his future
Arsenal’s hopes of finalising a deal for £22million-rated Lille starlet Gabriel Magalhaes are reportedly being put in jeopardy by a last-ditch attempt by Napoli.
The Serie A side have already raided Lille this summer for star attacker Victor Osimhen and Gennaro Gattuso is said to be keen to return to the French club for their 22-year-old Brazilian defender.
Sportsmail reported on Tuesday that Arsenal had agreed a deal for Gabriel but Sky Sports have now revealed that Napoli’s late offer ‘is being seriously considered’, putting Arsenal’s deal at risk of collapse.
Arsenal’s hopes of landing Lille star Gabriel Magalhaes look to be complicated by Napoli
Mikel Arteta had made the 22-year-old a priority target as he continues a defensive rebuild
Lille have said a decision will be made on his future by the end of the week.
Arsenal and Napoli can both put forward compelling cases, albeit neither can offer Champions League football for next season.
A chance to reunite with Osimhen would likely appeal to the defender in a bid to help him settle in at a new team and Arsenal now return to the drawing board to see how they can get a deal concluded.
The Brazilian has been a revelation for Lille but it has been accepted he will leave this summer
Victor Osimhen, who was Gabriel’s team-mate in 2019-20, has already joined Napoli
Both teams are reported to have matched offers but it is understood the left-sided Brazilian centre back is keen to play for Mikel Arteta and link up with compatriots David Luiz and Willian.
That sentiment has been reiterated by Lille president Gerard Lopez, who told Sky it would be the player’s call on where he goes.
He said: ‘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.’
Should he move to Arsenal, Gabriel would link up with Brazilian compatriot David Luiz
Gabriel started 23 domestic games for the Ligue 1 side as he helped them to a fourth-placed finish before the French top-flight was scrapped early due to coronavirus.
Arsenal have already signed defenders William Saliba from St Etienne and made Pablo Mari’s loan from Flamengo permanent.
The latter is expected to be out until October following surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.