Report: Arsenal set to sign £22m defender who was on Manchester United’s radar

Manchester United appear to have missed on on one of their central defensive targets in this summer’s transfer window. 

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are closing in on the signing of highly-rated Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.

Gabriel, 22, is valued at £22m and has been coveted by a host of top clubs this summer after an impressive season in Ligue 1.

The Brazilian defender made 23 appearances in the French domestic league, helping his Lille side to a fourth placed finish before the season was curtailed early due to coronavirus.

And Arsenal are now said to have won the race for the player that plenty of United supporters have been describing as a possible cost-effective option this summer.

The Mail notes that Gabriel was also on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s radar at Old Trafford, though it is unclear just how serious United’s interest was in the player.

Anyhow, Solskjaer must prioritise signing a proven centre-back this summer after shortcomings were highlighted once again in a third semi-final defeat of the season against Sevilla. 

Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire’s flaws were brutally exposed for Sevilla’s late winner on Sunday evening and United must focus on providing a stable defensive platform if they are to accelerate plans of a Premier League title challenge in the near future.

Meanwhile, Gabriel could turn out to be an astute signing for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, if the reports of the Gunners winning the race are true.

Arsenal’s calamitous defending has been well documented for several seasons now and Gabriel could provide some assurance they have been looking for at the back.

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