Everton face having to pay £30million to sign Gabriel Magalhaes as Arsenal’s interest in the LOSC Lille defender drives the price up, according to The Sun.
Both the Gunners and we are understood to be monitoring the centre-half with a view to a move in the next transfer window, but Les Dogues President Gerard Lopez is primed to use the rival interest as a bargaining chip in any negotiations.
Lopez also intends to use Arsenal’s deal with Saint-Etienne for William Saliba as a benchmark figure, after the North Londoners agreed to pay £27m to obtain the French youngster who has remained in Ligue 1 on loan for the season.
Lille are in no need to sell Gabriel at the close of the current campaign having extended the 22-year-old’s contract at the Stade Pierre Mauroy until 2023, and reportedly turned down offers from Everton and Arsenal in January.
Do we need to sign a CB in the summer?
Director of Football Marcel Brands is thought to be ready to revive our pursuit of Gabriel in the summer when Lopez is more open to accepting an offer, providing it reaches a suitable value.
The Sun now claims that value to be £30m, given Lille have proven themselves as firm negotiators in recent years having held out on selling Nicolas Pepe last summer until Arsenal offered a club-record £72m for the Ivorian.
A deal in the region of £30m for Gabriel would see the Brazil U23 international signed in the same price bracket as Yerry Mina and Michael Keane, after the pair were brought to Goodison Park for £27.19m and £30m respectively.
Brands and his scouting team will have to ensure their files on Gabriel are up to scratch if the Dutchman is to pay such for Gabriel, with Keane currently out of favour under Carlo Ancelotti.
The boss has not fielded the former Burnley defender in a starting line-up since we beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 on January 11, with the 27-year-old overlooked in four games across all competitions.
Gabriel has started 19 of Lille’s 23 Ligue 1 fixtures this term, in which the 6 ft 2 defensive talent has helped to keep eight clean sheets, scored once and been deployed in midfield once.
In other Everton news, the club are fearful over the implications of a recent injury.