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Lille president Gerard Lopez claims Gabriel Magalhaes will make a final decision on his future this week, with Arsenal reportedly in the mix and the favourites to sign him.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Lille president Gerard Lopez gave an update on the future of 22-year-old centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.
Lopez confirmed that the player asked to leave this summer, the Ligue 1 side set their demands and a number of clubs met them, namely, Arsenal and Napoli. At this point, it’s up to the player to make his decision, which he’ll reportedly do in the coming days.
“He is one of the players that we allowed to exit the club this summer,” Lopez said. “He asked for it and wants to try something else.
“We clearly told him what our expectations were, we spoke to a number of clubs, our expectations were met by a number of clubs and we have given him the time to decide.
“It is going to be entirely his decision. We tend to try and steer our players in certain directions, but at the end of the day, it’s the player’s decision.
“I know he is going to make a decision early next week…we have clearly decided to close the door to further clubs at this stage and let him choose.”
Sky claim Everton and Napoli were two of the teams in the race, along with another unnamed Premier League club. However, reports this weekend all but confirmed that Arsenal are now leading the race for the player.
The good news is that it’s up to the player, and no longer a bidding war. Arsenal are certainly better at convincing their targets to join than at making major financial power plays.
You’d hope the combination of potential Brazilian teammates (Willian, Luiz, Martinelli) and technical director Edu, reuniting with Nicolas Pépé and working under an exciting young coach in Mikel Arteta would all help to win the player over.