Everton in the running to sign dominant defender

Gabriel

Everton head into this week's round of fixtures with a test against Leicester, one that might be easier than first anticipated. 

The Foxes have struggled and laboured to results since football restarted, drawing with Brighton and Watford while tasting defeat versus Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers' side have scored just once in those three games and the Toffees will fancy their chances.

Everton beat Norwich last time out and although the performance wasn't convincing, come into a game where they should be the favourites.

European football might be a stretch next season but should they sign one of their latest targets, it could become a reality in a few years time.

Everton have been linked with a move for Lille defender Gabriel in recent weeks but their pursuit has seemingly ramped up in recent days.

So much so that he could sign for the Toffees by the end of the week.

That's according to a report from L'Equipe (via Sport Witness).

Gabriel

They suggest that the centre-back is set to decide on his future by the end of the week.

Gabriel is facing a choice between Everton and Napoli who can sign the player for €22m (£19.8m), a mere snip in today's market.

Those two sides appear to be the only ones competing for his signature and by the time Friday arrives, we may well know where his future lies.

Gabriel

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Described as one of the most "dominant" centre-backs in Europe at the moment by Lille president Gerard Lopez, he would be an astute capture.

He has quickly emerged as one of the best in his position and has become a colossal figure in French football.

Gabriel would surely fit seamlessly into English football, such is his presence among the backline. He is a tough defender, capable of winning 3.5 aerial duels per game, as well as registering a pass success rate of 82.2%.

Not only is he a physical defender, but he's graceful when it comes to having the ball at his feet. In terms of modern defenders, he seemingly has it all - winning 1.7 tackles per match as well.

However, signing a player like Gabriel could signal the end of the rails for Mason Holgate.

The young centre-half has been linked with a switch to Manchester City and despite his impressive displays this season could depart.

Though, in Gabriel, Ancelotti would have a mighty fine replacement.

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