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Manchester United attempt to hijack Gabriel Magalhaes transfer from Lille

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Manchester United reportedly hope to sign Gabrial Magalhaes from Lille this summer after making an eleventh hour move to stop wither Arsenal or Napoli from signing the 22-year-old this summer. United were linked with the player a number of weeks ago but after initial talks, did not seem to get involved in the bidding with both Arsenal and Napoli agreeing terms with the player, according to reports. Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that United are now involved.

It was suggested that the Brazilian, who had offered from Napoli and Arsenal was more interested in a move to London. But with United now involved, the player has asked for more time to think about his decision. United will be playing in the UEFA Champions League next season with Arsenal only playing in the UEFA Europa League and they only got there by winning the Emirates FA Cup after finishing eighth in the Premier League. It feels good to pay the Arsenal fans back for their ‘banter’.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has apparently been seeking a left-footed central defender to partner Harry Maguire and has been linked with Nathan Ake, who signed for Bournemouth, Pau Torres of Villarreal and Magalhaes. It is clear that the Norwegian feels that his defence could be better than hit has been this season, despite only conceding 36 goals in the Premier League in the 2019/20 season compared to the 54 goals conceded in the 2018/19 season.

The Brazilian is expected to take the next two days to think about the options that he has with Arsenal supporters worrying that the player has had his head turned by United. The lure of Champions League football will be big for the player especially as he looks to pay at a higher level to earn his first cap for his country, having only played for Brazil at U20 and U23 level. It could well be that he sees a more direct chance of playing regular football by signing for Arsenal. It will be the player’s decision to make.

Last season for Lille, Magalhaes made a total of 34 appearances before the leagues in France were promptly cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lille ended up finishing fourth in the league, missing out on Champions League qualification and only qualifying for the Europa League group stage. Magalhaes scored one goal during the course of the season which came against RC Strasbourg Alsace on the 1 February 2020, a 2-1 victory for Lille.

United could be a matter of days away from sealing their first signing of the summer with lots to do at the club before the transfer window closes on the 5 October 2020, about three weeks after the new Premier League season commences. United were due to face Burnley in the opening fixture but due to their participation in the Europa League, the first match, along with Manchester City’s will be postponed. Therefore United’s first match will be against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

Written by John Walker

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