Arsenal are hoping to complete the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes for around £22m from LOSC Lille by early next week, drawing an end to one of the summer’s longest-running transfer sagas.

Lille have agreed fees with both Arsenal and Napoli, with Magalhaes left to deliberate over his options by the French club’s owner, Gerard Lopez.

Arsenal and Magalhaes’ representatives had initially been apart on negotiations over the player’s expected salary, however, it’s understood an agreement is now on the verge of being sealed.

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Everton believed they had secured the defender’s signature back in March, with Magalhaes even undergoing a medical, before the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic put the deal on pause.

Napoli subsequently intensified their interest and made the Brazil U20 international their No 1 defensive target. However, the Italian club’s desire to sell Kalidou Koulibaly before paying for a replacement has held up the move.

Magalhaes would become Arsenal’s fourth new signing at centre-back in two years, with William Saliba, David Luiz and Pablo Mari all joining the Gunners.

Magalhaes joined Lille from Brazilian side Avia in 2016 for just £1.5m and was a key member of the club’s Ligue 1 and Champions League campaigns, featuring in both group stage fixtures against Chelsea last year.

“I think he has narrowed it down,” Lille owner Lopez told TalkSport today. “I think it is fair to say that Arsenal is high interest to him. Napoli is of high interest to him. We have given him plenty of time to make up his mind.

“We have always said, like we did for [Nicolas] Pepe: ‘Look if we have an agreement with a club, or with two clubs or three clubs, and the agreements are the same, we are not going to create a bidding competition’ – which is always fair.

“So we said: ‘Look, whenever we have the number that we want, feel free to choose’. And that choice, I don’t think I am giving up too much if I tell you that choice is going to be made probably between today or tomorrow.”

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