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Arsenal hijack Man Utd move as £27m star opts to join Gunners

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Arsenal look to have beaten Manchester United to the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes as the £27m-rated Lille defender has decided he wants to move to the Emirates this summer, according to La Voix Du Nord.

Gabriel has developed into one of the most highly-rated centre-backs in French football since joining Lille three and a half years ago and he played a key role in helping the club qualify for Europe with a fourth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season.

The left-footed central defender impressed during his 34 appearances in all competitions and the South American’s performances have caught the eye of several top European clubs this summer.

Napoli were the early front runners for Gabriel’s signature but Manchester United then appeared to move into pole position after RMC Sport journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi reported recently that United chiefs were in talks with the players agent.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly in the market for a left sided centre-back to partner Harry Maguire next season and Gabriel has emerged as a prime target with Man Utd seemingly keen to lure him to Old Trafford this summer.

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However, it looks like Arsenal have hijacked Man Utd’s move as La Voix Du Nord claims Gabriel has opted to join the Gunners after being impressed with their plans following talks with his representative earlier this week.

The French outlet says the 22-year-old defender would like to secure a move to Arsenal as soon as possible and things should become more clear over the coming days as talks about his future intensify.

According to La Voix Du Nord, the deal for Gabriel could cost Arsenal around £27m and baring any late intervention from Man Utd, the Brazilian centre-back looks set to be reunited with former team-mate Nicolas Pepe in north London this summer.

Arsenal’s transfer kitty was boosted after they qualified for Europe by winning the FA Cup last weekend and Mikel Arteta desperately needs to strengthen his defence after a disappointing campaign that saw them finish eighth in the Premier League.

William Saliba has arrived from Saint-Etienne while Pablo Mari’s loan move was made permanent in June but Arsenal need another top class centre-back as Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Rob Holding and David Luiz have all been too inconsistent.

It looks like Gabriel is a serious target for Arteta and the South American would be an exciting addition to Arsenal’s squad if they could beat Man Utd to his signature this summer.

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