Arsenal enter race to sign Ligue 1 ace

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Arsenal have a carrot to wave at potential signings.

While they may well have thought that they faced a summer of relative heartache, given their failure to qualify for Europe through their league position, they enjoyed a day in the sun at Wembley.

Mikel Arteta’s men beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final, securing their qualification for the Europa League.

It means that they have the ability to offer summer targets the ability to take to the continent with the Gunners.

And targets are being identified already.

Indeed, there remains some concern over the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has yet to sign a new deal at the club.

But time waits for no one and there is clearly a desire at the Emirates to strengthen Arteta’s squad in the coming months.

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After all, their eighth-placed finish saw them end the season 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and 43 behind champions Liverpool.

They conceded more goals – 48 – than every other team in the top eight, bar Frank Lampard’s men.

And they have now identified Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes as a potential acquisition to solidify the club’s backline. 

Brazilian outlet UOL, via Sport Witness, claims that Arsenal have contacted the player’s entourage, and the French club are open to selling him.

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He would cost around €20 million (£18m), though bonuses could take the deal to €30m (£27.1m).

Arsenal are not the only Premier League club eyeing Gabriel, however, with Everton and Manchester United also interested, along with Serie A side Napoli.

They will need to move quickly, then, to sign the defender this summer.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

The 22-year-old seems a promising prospect.

He has been with Lille since 2017 and has made 52 appearances for the club, making 23 Ligue 1 starts this season.

He is highly thought of at the club and he has been hailed by the club’s president, Gerard Lopez.
He told Sky Sports that he believes he is “an absolute machine” and also tipped to him to join a “really big club”.

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He also said: "I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now. His statistics, which aren't well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that's extremely physical.”

It appears that he is ready to make the step up this summer but it remains to be seen if Arsenal will be able to get the deal done.

They certainly ought to try.

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