Arsenal centre-back target delays move in hope of Man Utd switch

Denis Bouanga, Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal defensive target Gabriel Magalhaes has reportedly delayed a move in the hope that Manchester United make a move for him.

The centre-back had been expected to complete a switch to the Gunners on Thursday. But a new twist has developed in the race for his signature.

The 22-year-old Lille star was tipped to join either Arsenal or Napoli by the French club’s president Gerard Lopez.

Lopez told talkSPORT on Thursday: “I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal are a high interest to him. Napoli is a high interest to him.

“We’ve given him plenty of time to make up his mind. We’ve always said, ‘look if we have an agreement with two clubs or three clubs and the agreements are the same then we are not going to create a bidding competition’.

“It’s always fair. We always say ‘whenever we have the number that we want you are free to choose’.

“And that choice, I don’t think I’m giving up too much if I tell you that that choice is probably today or tomorrow.

“I’m unable to tell you what that choice is. We’ve given him some recommendations but we don’t like to talk about it in public. Because we don’t want people to feel bad.

“We’ve talked about where he should go. But at the end of the day he and his environment make a choice and we support that.”

When asked if Arsenal was his first choice, he said: “I don’t want to say that. And I don’t want to speak for the player.”

Man Utd join hunt for Gabriel

However, Gianluca Di Marzio has now claimed that the Red Devils have taken an interest in Gabriel.

The report adds that the player is stalling in the hope that United launch a £22.6m bid for his signature.

Should Gabriel move to Arsenal or United, that could be bad news for Manchester City in their pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly.

Pep Guardiola is in need of another top-class centre-back, despite the recent addition on Nathan Ake.

However, Napoli are less likely to let the Senegalese giant leave if they don’t get Gabriel.