Chelsea steal a march on Real Madrid as talks continue over €20m deal

Date published: Thursday 21st May 2020 7:02 - Samuel Bannister

Gabriel Magalhaes Moussa Dembele

Real Madrid have joined the race for Chelsea defensive target Gabriel Magalhaes – but the Blues remain in pole position, according to reports.

Lille defender Gabriel has emerged as a target for Chelsea after their rivals Arsenal, along with Everton, failed with January bids to bring him to the Premier League.

Chelsea appear to be leading the race for the Brazilian centre-back, who played 24 times in Ligue 1 for Lille this season, although there is now a strong new competitor for his signature.

According to AS (via Sport Witness), Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for Gabriel as a potential third-choice behind Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, after Eder Militao did not quite live up to expectations following a 2019 move.

The only issue for Madrid is that Gabriel would take up one of the non-EU spots in their squad – which they currently do not have enough of to accommodate him.

However, they remain keen because the 22-year-old would be a cheaper alternative to RB Leipzig Dayot Upamecano, who had been a major target for them until now.

Gabriel is said to be rated around the €20m bracket, whereas Upamecano’s asking price is still higher, despite having been reduced by one-third down to €40m.

It is claimed that Chelsea have stolen a march on Madrid, though, by entering negotiations behind the scenes last month – although no agreement has yet been reached.

Gabriel remains under contract until 2023, having only extended his current deal as recently as February – although the chance to sell him for around seven times what they originally paid for him may give Lille some thinking to do.


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