Napoli were close to signing Gabriel earlier in the window but asked for more time from the Brazilian as they wanted to sell Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City, before bringing the Lille centre back to Italy.
The Gunners entered the race and made a concrete offer for the 22 year old. Arsenal matched Napoli’s £27 million bid including bonuses and made an interesting offer to the player.
Unless Manchester United make a last ditch attempt to sign the player on significantly increased terms, Gabriel could be an Arsenal player by tomorrow morning. Napoli would like for him to wait a little longer before making a decision but the Brazilian defender does not seem interested in that option.
The 22 year old is one of the most exciting young central defenders in world football. He was an integral part of a Lille side that finished fourth in the French league last season. They had the fourth best defensive record in the country. He made 34 appearances in all competitions for the French club in the 2019/20 campaign.
The Gunners conceded 48 goals in the league last season and had the second worst defensive record among the top eight Premier League sides. Their inconsistencies at the back have been criticised on a regular basis and it has been clear that they are in need of better defenders. Gabriel will significantly improve Arsenal’s rearguard if he does move to the Emirates this summer.
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