Manchester United have reportedly joined Arsenal in the race to sign Lille central defender Gabriel Magalhaes this summer. The Daily Record has reported that the 22-year-old Brazilian is now on the radar of two Premier League clubs. It is suggested that United will be seeking to sign a new central defender this summer with some reports suggesting that the player could be a left-footed, ball playing defender. The Brazilian fits that profile which could be the start of an under the radar singing.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to have come to the conclusion that Magalhaes could become the defensive partner to Harry Maguire at the club next season with Victor Lindelof making the manager ask many questions of him, especially recently. He will obviously become a squad player with United not seeking to sell any more defenders this summer after Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and possibly Phil Jones. It would leave him with Maguire, Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and any new signing he made in the position.
The 22-year-old had a good season with Lille as they finished fourth in Ligue 1, which was suspended then cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March. It could well have been a premature decision to have made with the fact that the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga resumed their season after a two-three month break. The reports state that Magalhaes could be available for just £22.5 million this summer, which would be a bargain signing for United, should the interest actually be there.
Arsenal have already been credited with interest in the player, despite David Luiz and Pablo Mari being retained by the club this summer. Chelsea have also been linked to the player with Frank Lampard not settled on the likes of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen. But the team that is said to be leading the race to sign the Brazilian it Italian side Napoli. A report by The Sun suggests that the player has already agreed on personal terms with the club, which is not the end of the world as the transfer has not been completed.
A move to the Premier League could be lucrative for the player, putting him on the pedestal in terms of playing international football as the player has only represented his country at U20 and U23 level. This season in France, playing in Ligue 1, the UEFA Champions League, the Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France, the Brazilian has made a total of 34 appearances, scoring one goal, which is good for a central defender. The player can also slot into the defensive midfield position too, although he played there once during the past season. This could be an option at United, or elsewhere if required although it is probably not his best position.
It is stated by The Sun that a club such as United making a move for the player could turn his head as the offer of regular first team football in the Premier League would be an offer too good to be turned down by the player. There are also suggestions in the report that Inter Milan and Everton also retain some interest in the player, which could set something moving for him this summer, if Napoli do not complete the deal in the next few days or weeks. It is said that Napoli will be replacing Kalidou Koulibaly, who is currently linked to Manchester City.
Written by John Walker