Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes on Barcelona radar

La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes over a possible move in the summer.

According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Gabriel Magalhaes is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Arsenal defender is one of many left-footed centre-backs who have emerged on the Catalan club’s radar.

Gabriel Magalhaes has come a long way since joining Arsenal from Lille in September 2020. The Brazilian defender took no time to establish a foothold in the first-team setup at the Emirates and has forged a solid central defensive partnership with Ben White this season.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a solid 2021/22 campaign, missing just one Premier League game for Arsenal when fit and available while amassing 31 appearances across all competitions. Gabriel’s exploits at Arsenal have not gone unnoticed, with one of the biggest clubs in Europe – Barcelona – setting sights on him.

The interest from Barcelona stems from the rampant uncertainties surrounding the futures of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. The French duo’s departure will leave Xavi Hernandez without a left-footed centre-back in the Barcelona first-team setup.

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As a result, the Catalan giants have been forced to delve into the market for a centre-back even though they are closing in on signing Andreas Christensen in a Bosman move. Gabriel is thus a viable target for Barcelona, with the Arsenal defender fitting the mould of the centre-back wanted at Camp Nou.

Arsenal would ideally decline any offer for Gabriel. But the report by SPORT claims that the Gunners could be forced to cash in on the Brazilian as they do not have funds to make sweeping changes to their squad. That said, Barcelona might not be able to afford to sign the Arsenal defender in a straight cash transfer and could offer a player as part of the deal to land him.

Several Barcelona players, including Memphis Depay, have been linked with Arsenal, and one of them could enter the operation to accommodate a player-plus-cash deal. It will be interesting to see Arsenal’s stance on accepting such an offer from Barcelona, especially with the 24-year-old going from strength to strength at the Emirates.

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