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£23m defender snubs Arsenal’s rivals

Brazilian ace Gabriel Magalhaes reveals how he rejected offers from other clubs to sign for Gunners

03 September, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

ARSENAL finally got their man this week – and the arrival of defender Gabriel Magalhaes is a massive win for the fans.

The Brazilian star swapped Lille for north London in a deal reportedly worth in the region of £23million plus bonuses.

With the likes of Manchester United, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain all chasing the 22-year-old, it is believed he turned down more lucrative offers to join the Gunners. But it turns out the love Magalhaes was shown on social media by Gooners was worth more than money.

“So many fans were sending me messages asking me to join Arsenal, and that played a big part in me signing for this club,” he told Arsenal Digital. “I know the history and traditions of this club and it is a pleasure being here. I am very happy and hope I can contribute to many titles with the Arsenal shirt.

“It was a very surreal experience, there were offers coming from a few different clubs.

“I spoke a lot with my family and my agent. I also spoke with some of Lille’s directors, but as I said, this club’s history and traditions, the fans, and the team project were very motivational for my decision to come here.”

He added: “So here I am, wearing the Arsenal shirt. I will give my best for it, and come on you Gunners!”

Incredibly, Magalhaes becomes the 13th defender currently in Arsenal’s senior squad – increasing the need for a summer sale.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to follow up his man-of-the-match display in the Community Shield on Saturday – the Gunners beating Liverpool 5-4 on penalties – by staying and fighting for his place in Mikel Arteta’s side.

It means the first departure could see Hector Bellerin join PSG in a deal worth up to £30m, with Cedric Soares and the versatile Maitland-Niles covering the vacated right-back position.

Bayern Munich and Juventus are also keeping tabs on Bellerin, who has three years left on his remaining deal.

Rob Holding, meanwhile, looks set to join Newcastle United. It won’t raise much in the way of funds for manager Arteta, however, as it is likely to be a season-long loan as opposed to a permanent move, with the 24-year-old still said to have a future in north London. Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi could also all be nearing the Emirates exit with Arsenal desperate to cut their wage bill.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are in advanced talks with Real Madrid to bring midfielder Dani Ceballos back to the club for a second successive season-long loan.

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