Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly in a battle to sign Lille central defender Gabriel Magalhaes this summer. The Brazilian is set to make a decision on his future this week, according to reports in The Sun. Both United and Arsenal have been linked to the player for a period of months, say the reports with United seemingly showing interest in the past few weeks after the player’s representatives were in England to speak to two clubs.
Premier League side Everton were previously interested in the player, having conducted a medical during the winter transfer window, however, not agreeing a fee with Lille for the player. Napoli are also said to be interested in the player with reports coming from French news outlet L’Equipe. The player will cost £27 million this summer, which is a competitive fee for a player so young but with experience. The 22-year-old is left-footed, which fits the profile Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would want.
However, it has been suggested that United have had informal talks and Arsenal seem to be the club that has done more regarding this transfer. The report states that the 22-year-old’s brother and sister started following Arsenal in Instagram, which could be an indication that the North London club will be signing the player. No doubt, there will be many reports to suggest that United have missed out on the player – let them claim their victory. Clubs that finish eighth in the Premier League need some glory.
Whilst United need to start making some signings this summer, it would seem that the targets are not yet known. United were linked to Nathan Ake, who has signed for Manchester City and Magalhaes, who I think will be signing for Arsenal. In recent weeks, they were linked to Villarreal’s Pau Torres and AS Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile. However, since those reports, Chris Smalling’s loan with AS Roma has come to an end so United might choose to retain the player this summer instead.
That might not be what actually happens, but could also be a possibility. Inter Milan seem to hold some interest in Smalling, along with Roma and even Juventus. It could well be that the player is sold when he returns from his holidays this summer. I think more will start to happen when United’s season has ended and tonight they found out that they will face Sevilla in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League this season, which will be played on Sunday evening.
It is possible that Solskjaer promotes from the academy this summer, instead of signing a new defender, although signing a competent and experienced defender will be required. United will have the pull of UEFA Champions League football this summer and could well gain more attraction if they end up lifting the Europa League this season. Against FC Copenhagen on Monday, United won the match 1-0 and a few of the Danish club’s players looked talented with defender Victor Nelsson and forward Jonas Wind; both 21. United might do well looking at both players this summer.
Written by John Walker