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Official: Gabriel Magalhaes completes move to Arsenal

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Arsenal completes move for Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal have announced the signing of defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille after both clubs confirmed the deal.

The Brazilian centre-back has signed a five-year contract with the Gunners which will reportedly cost €30million (£27.7m).

The 22-year-old landed in England last Monday, arriving at Arsenal’s training ground in London Colney to put the finishing touches on his transfer. He then underwent a medical in the UK capital.

Gabriel has been placed on quarantine ever since he arrived from France, a country which is presently on the UK Government’s quarantine list. Gabriel will have to observe a mandatory self-isolation for 14 days before being able to join his new team-mates.

Gabriel’s arrival will be a major addition to boss Mikel Arteta, who had been keen to acquire another centre-back this summer to strengthen his side.

With Arsenal suffering defensive woes for much of 2019-20, they had been keen to invest in reinforcements for their backline and Gabriel is the first signing.

The former Lille center-back earned rave reviews in Ligue 1 last season, becoming a key part of Christophe Galtier’s back four as he appeared in 24 of their 28 top-flight matches before the campaign was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lille let in 27 goals over the course of the domestic season, with only Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Reims boasting better defensive records.

Gabriel had been on Arsenal’s hot list for several weeks, though Napoli emerged as competition for the youngster and Manchester United were also briefly linked to him.

The move highlights a significant boost for Gabriel, who only burst into Lille’s first team in the 2018-19 season.

After moving to the club in 2017, he had loan spells with Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb, before returning and eventually forming a strong partnership with Jose Fonte.

He becomes Arsenal’s second recruit since the end of 2019-20, following fellow Brazilian Willian, who arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Gabriel Magalhaes will soon be followed into the Emirates Stadium by Dani Ceballos, who is close to rejoining Arsenal on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.

Advanced talks between the two clubs have progressed well in the last 48 hours, with the midfielder set to arrive in England to complete the switch.


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