Gabriel joins Arsenal from Lille for £25m

 

Gabriel Magalhaes
Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal has confirmed the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.

The defender arrives in a £25 million ($33 million) deal and has signed a five-year contract with the Gunners.

He becomes the club’s second signing of the transfer window, following the capture of fellow Brazilian Willian – who joined on a free transfer from Chelsea.

Arsenal’s technical director Edu said: “We are delighted to have signed Gabriel. He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand from many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer with Lille and the player.

“Gabriel is a player of high quality and Mikel and his coaches are looking forward to integrating him into the club.”

The 22-year-old arrived in England last Monday when he travelled to Arsenal’s training ground at London Colney to put the finishing touches on his transfer. He then underwent a medical in the capital.

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Gabriel has been in quarantine ever since as he arrived from France, a country which is currently on the UK Government’s quarantine list.

Gabriel will have to self-isolate for 14 days before being able to link up with his new team-mates.

He was allowed into London Colney on Monday under strict medical supervision to take part in the squad’s latest round of COVID testing.

Gabriel’s arrival will be a major boost to boss Mikel Arteta, who had been keen to add another center-back to his ranks this summer.

Speaking about his latest capture, Arteta said: “We welcome Gabriel to Arsenal. He has many qualities which will make us stronger as a defensive unit and as a team.

“He has proved with Lille that he is a defender with many outstanding attributes and we are looking forward to watching him grow as an Arsenal player.”

Gabriel himself added: “[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations.

“As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.

“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.

“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity, and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.”

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