Top defender ‘stunned’ by Arteta as flight booked to sign for Arsenal

Jonny Whitfield
Gabriel Magalhaes Lille

Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes will arrive in London on Monday to sign for Arsenal after being left “stunned” by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, according to reports.

Arsenal have chased Gabriel some time, taking an initial lead in the race to sign the Brazilian 22-year-old.

Manchester United then made a late approach, which forced the centre-back to hold off on signing for Arsenal. Indeed, Paris Saint-Germain were also in the conversation.

However, according to top journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have finally wrapped up a deal to sign Gabriel.

The reporter says (via Twitter) that the defender will fly to London on Monday to finalise his deal. Gabriel will sign a five-year contract, with Arsenal paying €30million (£27million) including add-ons.

What’s more, the journalist adds that Arsenal will announce the signing at some point next week.

Another report in Corrierre dello Sport details Arteta’s influence on proceedings.

The source notes that while Gabriel had always considered a move to Arsenal, the late approaches from United and PSG cast doubt over the move.

Gabriel Magalhaes Moussa Dembele

However, Gabriel was reportedly “stunned” by Arteta’s vision in a telephone conversation with the Arsenal boss. Indeed, the source adds that Arteta’s words were “enough to say yes” for Gabriel.

Recent Arsenal signing Willian recently revealed how Arteta also enticed him to The Emirates. The winger said Arteta vowed to win the Champions League by the time the Brazilian’s three-year deal ended.

As previously reported, the deal for Gabriel could mean sales in defence for Arsenal, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ future now increasingly uncertain.

Corrierre dello Sport makes previous suggestions more concrete by claiming Napoli could move for the Greek.

Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso is an admirer of Sokratis, having played with the defender while at AC Milan.


Meanwhile, further speculation claims Arsenal are among the sides keen on Club Brugge winger Emmanuel Dennis.

Dennis has continued to impress over the last three seasons, peaking the interest of several sides in Europe.

According to the latest report, the Gunners, Leeds and Everton are monitoring his situation.

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