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Arsenal confirm the £25m signing of Gabriel from Lille

Arsenal have 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.

Speaking about the signing, 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.

Gabriel has been in quarantine ever since 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 centre-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.

“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”

Gabriel will soon be followed into Arsenal by Dani Ceballos, who is close to returning to north London for another season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.

Talks between the two clubs have progressed well in the last 48 hours and the midfielder will soon travel to England to complete his switch to Emirates Stadium.

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