Edu persuades £26.4m Gabriel to join Arsenal
Gabriel Magalhaes is in London today to take a medical as he looks to complete his move to Arsenal.
The Brazilian centre-back, 22, will wrap up a transfer from Lille worth £22.6million up front. With add-ons, the deal will be worth £26.4million for him to become the club’s second major signing of the summer following his countryman Willian’s arrival on a free transfer.
It is understood that Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, convinced Gabriel to join them despite interest from other teams, including Manchester United and Napoli.
The defender also had conversations with head coach Mikel Arteta, who has already proven himself to be highly effective at convincing players to buy into his project.
Gabriel’s decision to join Arsenal is, therefore, a significant moment for Edu, who was forced to step up and lead the negotiations after the sudden departure of former head of football Raul Sanllehi this month.
Edu is taking the lead on transfers, with support from Arteta and contract specialist Huss Fahmy.
Gabriel is believed to consider the Emirates Stadium, and working under Arteta, to be a good fit for his progression.
He will be playing Europa League football next term, but playing in the team getting put together by Arteta was attractive.
Arteta has retained David Luiz for the 2020-21 season and also has William Saliba returning to the club after he was loaned back to St-Etienne last season.
Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding are his other centrebacks and the Spaniard will decide on which will be allowed to leave.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are understood to have hired Brentford setpiece coach Andreas Georgson, who has left the Championship club.
Closing in: Gabriel Magalhaes has travelled to London and will have a medical at Arsenal