Report: Arsenal set to beat Napoli and Manchester United to sign highly-rated defender

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The Gunners seem to have accelerated their summer transfer plans since winning the FA Cup final at the weekend. Following news of Willian’s potential arrival this morning, now Arsenal are being heavily linked with a swoop for a new defender.

According to French source, France Bleu, Arsenal are ready to snatch the signing of highly rated central defender Gabriel Magalhaes. The Gunners had been linked with Gabriel previously, but it appeared Everton, Napoli and Manchester United had moved ahead of the Gunners. Now, it seems Arsenal have taken the initiative to move fast following the clubs qualification for the Europa League following the FA Cup final win.

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Last week, we brought you the news of Gabriel being a possible summer signing for Arsenal, after Lille opened the door to his exit. Since then, Lille have already found their replacement as 20-year-old defender Sven Botman signed for € 8 million on last Friday.

France Bleu said: ‘According to our information, the young Brazilian defender from Lille, Gabriel, could finally cross the Channel and sign for Arsenal. He was coveted by the Italians in Naples.

On Twitter, Lille news account [ @LOSC_Actualite ] backed this up: ‘Yes, Arsenal have accelerated [a deal for Gabriel] since they qualified for Europe, I don’t know if they have passed Napoli and Everton. We will know his next destination fairly quickly anyway.’

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22-year-old Gabriel is physically strong, standing at 6ft 3’ and comfortable with the ball at his feet. As a left-footed central defender, he is comfortable playing as a left centre back, a position that has been problematic for Arsenal lately, with Sead Kolasinac shoehorned into the role most recently.

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