Since Arsenal won the FA Cup two weeks ago, the club have embarked on a rollercoaster period.
The club have made 55 members of staff redundant, including renowned scout Francis Cagigao and now their Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi has also left.
In a shock announcement, the ex-Barcelona figure departed the Emirates Stadium of his own accord, as Vinai Venkatesham became the club’s Managing Director.
It’s thought that Edu and Mikel Arteta will be in sole control of their transfer dealings from now on, but what that means for the Gunners’ transfer strategy is anyone’s guess.
Coincidentally, Arsenal have been looking to do business with Lille again a year on.
This time it concerns one of their defenders, Gabriel Magalhaes.
However, since then, Napoli are now in pole position and it’s reported that a fee has even been agreed.
Where he ends up isn’t entirely clear, but what is for certain, is that Gabriel will be leaving Lille this summer.
Speaking to the BBC, the club’s president Gerard Lopez said:
“The way we work is very simple. We explain to him [Gabriel] and his environment, his agent, what we are looking for, and once we get those offers the choice is his, like we did with Nico [Pepe] and Victor [Oshimen].
“We are there now, so we told him: ‘Eventually you have to make a decision but we’re not pressing you.’ I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving, we’ve given the OK for that.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
We’ve been in this position before. Over two months ago it was claimed that Gabriel was ready to make his decision but now we are unlikely to hear it until next week at the very earliest.
Lopez speaks highly of the 22-year-old, suggesting he’s one of the two most dominant central defenders in Ligue 1.
For a club like Arsenal who are in desperate need of improving their defence, that bodes well.
Gabriel has previously been quoted at a fee of €22m (£19.9m) and would prove to be an absolute bargain if the Gunners can convince him to move to north London.
The club already have good relations with Lille after landing Pepe last summer so hopefully, Edu can use that to his advantage when discussing matters with Lopez.
That being said, with Napoli now the frontrunners, Arsenal will need to make a mightily impressive offer to the player, not just his club.