Latest reports has shown that Arsenal hope to announce a deal for Lille star Gabriel imminently with the defender ready to commit to the Gunners unless Manchester United return with an improved offer, according to reports. Mikel Arteta’s side appeared to have won the race for the 22-year-old centre-back after agreeing a £22.7 Million deal, only for United to make a last-minute attempt to hijack the transfer. Gabriel asked for more time to consider his options, having also been presented with an offer to join Serie A side Napoli.
However, Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Gabriel is set to put pen to paper on a contract with the Gunners and the deal could even be rubberstamped on Saturday morning.
The only stumbling block now is whether United return with another eleventh hour improved offer for Gabriel, with the Red Devils yet to follow up on their initial approach. Although Napoli had matched Arsenal’s offer for the defender, he prefers the deal tabled by the north London club and is excited to test himself in the Premier League.
In a further boost to Arsenal’s hopes of landing the Lille star, The Times claims Gabriel has already completed a medical at the club’s London Colney training ground. The contract he has been offered will run until 2025, with Arteta having made a new left-sided centre-back his top priority to strengthen the defence.
Gabriel will compete for a place in the starting XI along with 19-year-old William Saliba, who was loaned back to Saint-Etienne last season, as well as David Luiz and Pablo Mari. Arteta is prepared to offload a host of defenders once Gabriel’s signing has been confirmed, with Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi all up for sale.