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Arsenal front runners to sign £25m Man Utd target as Arteta continues overhaul

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Arsenal are front runners to sign £25m-rated Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes but could face competition from Manchester United for his signature, according to reports via the Daily Star.

Mikel Arteta is expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer as he knows he needs to overhaul the squad he inherited from Unai Emery and the Gunners are reportedly on the verge of signing attacker Willian on a free transfer.

However, Arteta also needs to strengthen his defence and while William Saliba has arrived from Saint-Etienne and Pablo Mari has made his loan move permanent, Arsenal still need another top centre-back this summer.

Shkodran Mustafi enjoyed a consistent run of games during the closing stages of last season but he’s still a liability at times while Sokratis and Rob Holding could be sold to help fund a move for a new defender.

Gabriel has been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent weeks and the Daily Star says Arsenal are now front runners to sign the Brazilian centre-back after making him a priority transfer target this summer.

The newspaper claims a deal would cost around £25m but Arsenal could yet face some serious competition as the Evening Standard reports that Manchester United are also among the clubs chasing the South American.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is being tipped to bring in another centre-back to partner Harry Maguire next season and it appears Gabriel has been identified as a possible upgrade on Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

The 22-year-old has developed into one of the most highly-rated young centre-backs in French football since joining Lille in 2017 and he made 34 appearances to help the club qualify for Europe with a fourth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season.

However, his time in France could be coming to an end with Arsenal reportedly leading the race for his signature and French outlet La Voix Du Nord reported last week that Gabriel has decided he wants to join the Gunners this summer.

If the north Londoners can agree a deal with Lille then I think Gabriel would be a solid addition to Arteta’s squad but obviously there is still time for the likes of Man Utd to step-up their interest so it’s going to be interesting to see how things develop over the coming weeks.

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