Arsenal transfer target Gabriel left out of Lille squad for friendly match

Gabriel Magalhaes has been left out of Lille’s squad for their friendly against AZ Alkmaar, amid intense speculation he is set to join Arsenal.

The Brazilian centre-half impressed during the Ligue 1 side’s Champions League campaign last season and has attracted interest from a number of leading European clubs.

Chelsea and Manchester United have been closely monitoring his situation, as well as Everton. Napoli, meanwhile, who signed his Lille team-mate Victor Osimhen earlier this summer, were the early frontrunners but the 22-year-old is said to have chosen Arsenal as his destination.

Gabirel featured in last week’s friendly against Anderlecht, but was left out entirely against the Eredivisie outfit with his usual No.4 shirt handed to substitute Nassim Innocenti.

Mikel Arteta is keen to switch to a four-man defence next season, despite enjoying success with a 3-4-3 system which he used to great effect during FA Cup victories over Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley.

William Saliba will push for first team selection having returned from Lille, while David Luiz and Pablo Mari have been retained with the pair having signed new deals.

The futures of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers remain uncertain, however, while the club are open to offers for the likes of Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Speaking about his future earlier this summer, meanwhile, Gabirel said: ‘It is gratifying because there are a lot of teams talking about me.

‘Gennaro Gattuso [Napoli’s manager] likes me a lot? I don’t know, we haven’t talked. ‘On the internet, on social networks, there are a lot of things coming out. I do not know what is true. I see every day, ‘Ah Gabriel goes there, then there’.

‘But in fact, we don’t know yet where I’m going to go. Wherever I go it will be to play, to be at the top, at the highest level. ‘And above all in a team that will allow me to go to the Selecao [Brazilian national team].’

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