Arsenal boost: Gabriel left out of Lille friendly squad with no.4 jersey reassigned

Arsenal, along with any other suitors, have this afternoon been handed a boost in their respective pursuits of Lille star Gabriel Magalhaes.

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Brazilian defender Gabriel has established himself as one of Ligue 1’s standout performers over the last couple of seasons.

Since being handed the chance to impress on a consistent basis for the first time during the 2018/19 campaign, the 22-year-old hasn’t looked back, developing into a genuine star in the making.

Gabriel possesses a whole host of standout defensive traits, with his abilities both in the tackle and on the ball of the highest standard.

As such, news that the Brazilian youth international’s performances this past season, during which he appeared in all but 4 of Lille’s Ligue 1 outings, caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, came as little surprise.

The likes of Manchester UnitedChelsea, Everton and Napoli have all been tipped as potential destinations for Gabriel, who appears certain to depart the Stade Pierre Mauroy this summer.

LILLE, FRANCE – MARCH 8: Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes of Lille during the Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC (LOSC) and Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon, OL) at Stade Pierre Mauroy on March 8, 2020 in Villeneuve d’Ascq near Lille, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Gunners boost?

The last week, however, have seen a clear front-runner emerge in the race for Gabriel’s services.

The outfit in question? Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta is thought to be on the lookout for reinforcements at the heart of his side’s defence this summer, with Gabriel seemingly viewed as the ideal addition.

Recent word stemming from the French media, meanwhile, has gone as far as to claim that the South American has come to the definitive decision to make the move to the Emirates:

And, as outlined above, Arsenal’s pursuit has this afternoon been dealt a boost.

Lille went head to head with Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar a short time ago, in a pre-season friendly clash.

Upon Christophe Galtier’s matchday squad being made official, it quickly became apparent that Gabriel had not been called up.

Perhaps most significantly of all, though, was the fact that the no.4 jersey, which Gabriel donned this past season, had been handed to youngster Nassim Innocenti:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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