Arsenal in pole position to sign defender

Willian takes on Gabriel

Mikel Arteta has already transformed Arsenal.

It might be early days, but he has installed newfound confidence and belief in this set of players that looked impossible to find under Unai Emery.

The Gunners may have finished eighth in the Premier League table but their FA Cup final triumph on Saturday was a landmark occasion.

It showed that even without Arsene Wenger, they can challenge for trophies, as their 14th success in the world's oldest cup competition marked their first tournament win since the beloved Frenchman departed.

It feels like Arteta is building something special at the Emirates Stadium, so much so that he's even got David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi playing well - the pair of them kept a clean sheet against Manchester City. 

Since football restarted, the Gunners have recorded some impressive results, beating Arteta's old side, as well as seeing off the challenge of Wolves, Liverpool and Frank Lampard's Blues.

With the transfer window now open, it's an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.

Mikel Arteta with the FA Cup

Rumours of a move for Philippe Coutinho are failing to go away but a new target has emerged.

According to France Bleu (via Sport Witness), Arsenal have emerged as favourites to sign Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhães. 

The Brazilian has been linked with Chelsea and Everton this summer already, but now it looks as though the north Londoners are in pole position.

Napoli had also been in the race to sign the 22-year-old in a bid to potentially replace Kalidou Kouliably. However, things have now changed.

Previously, Gabriel has been quoted at €22m (£19.8m).

Gabriel Lille

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawsons says...

Gabriel is a bright prospect and would add a great deal to the Arsenal backline, one that has historically struggled in recent times.

David Luiz conceded five penalties this term, was sent off twice and made two individual errors leading to goals at the same time. 

The Lille centre-back won a whopping 3.5 aerial duels in Ligue 1 throughout the current season, a record that would put him second of any player currently at the Emirates. 

Hailed as an "absolute monster" by his current club's president, he's certainly a dominant defender.

Gabriel & Jose Fonte

Though, interestingly, he was bullied by Chelsea attacker and current Arsenal target Willian.

The Blues faced Lille in the Champions League on two occasions this term, and in both matches, the Brazil international contributed to a goal, assisting at Stamford Bridge and then finding the back of the net in the return fixture. 

Willian has been a hit and miss figure for Chelsea so make of that what you will. 

At just £19.8m, however, it's hard to ignore the fact that based on monetary value, Gabriel would be a good signing. 

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