The Guardian confidently report this morning that Gabriel Magalhaes will travel to London tomorrow to complete his move to the Arsenal.
They say the Brazilian has agreed to join Mikel Arteta’s side and the Gunners will pay a fee of around €30m to Lille for his services.
Despite Internet sleuths trying to place the defender in London over the weekend, he was in France and it’s reported elsewhere that phone calls with the Arsenal boss convinced him to turn down overtures from Napoli and Man Utd.
With the centre of the defence an area in need of improvement, the arrival of the 22 year old, who turns 23 in December but until then remains 22 because that’s how it works, will be a welcome boost.
It’s not as if Arsenal are short of options, with David Luiz, Sokratis, William Saliba, Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers on the books, but there’s a definite issue of quantity over quality.
It’s inevitable that there will be departures. Sokratis has been linked with Napoli; Chambers with a return to Fulham where he spent a season on loan previously; and Holding is attracting interest from newly promoted Leeds United.
Meanwhile, there are continued doubts over the future of Ainsley Maitland-Niles who, despite of a starring role in the FA Cup win, is up for sale with Wolves, Brighton and Everton all said to be considering the 22 year old Academy graduate.