Gabriel is in London to complete his move to Arsenal, according to French television channel Telefoot via Get French Football News.
The Gunners have won the race for his signature and are believed to be applying the final touches to the move. They will pay a fee of £27 million including bonuses to Lille for Gabriel.
Arsenal, Everton and Napoli all had bids accepted for the player. Everton, who were considered the early favourites for his signature, dropped out of the race due to the financial consequences of the pandemic.
Napoli viewed Gabriel as their primary defensive target but asked him to delay his decision as they wanted to sell Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked with Manchester City, before making a move for the 22 year old. Koulibaly’s sale is far from guaranteed and Gabriel has decided to choose Arsenal.
The 22 year old is one of the most exciting young central defenders in world football. He has the second best tackle success rate among central defenders who have made at least 40 tackles in Europe’s top five leagues, according to WhoScored.
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 North London club 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.
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