Arsenal expert reveals Arteta favourite ‘almost’ signed for Prem rivals as he ‘passed medical’

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal transfer
Gabriel Magalhaes and Kai Havertz line up for Arsenal.

According to reports, Arsenal and Brazil star Gabriel Magalhaes “almost” signed for a rival Premier League club before he secured his move to the Emirates.

Gabriel – alongside centre-back partner William Saliba – has been sensational for Arsenal this season as Mikel Arteta’s side have mounted another sustained challenge for the Premier League title.

The Gunners fell apart during last season’s run-in but they are stronger this season and have the best defence in the Premier League. They have only conceded 28 goals in their 35 matches.

Arsenal are only going to get better in the coming years as their squad is still very young. Sporting director Edu has moved to tie their best assets down to longer contracts as Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have all committed their futures to the London outfit.

Earlier this month, a report revealed Arsenal have held ‘positive’ talks with Gabriel over a new contract. 

“I would expect those talks to start during the summer…”

Arsenal expert Charles Watts has confirmed that “very early discussions” have taken place with former Everton target Gabriel, who has been “one of their big recent success stories”.

“There have been very early discussions between Arsenal and Gabriel Magalhaes’ representatives over a new contract,” Romano told Caught Offside.

👉 Klopp-Salah war, Arsenal bottle it, Spurs win by mistake – 10 Premier League predictions
👉 Three David Raya mistakes show Arsenal need a new goalkeeper

“Nothing is close, with the focus for Arsenal right now purely on finishing the season and trying to win the Premier League. But the possibility of sitting down to start negotiations have been raised and I would expect those talks to start during the summer.

“Edu has done superb work in ensuring that Arsenal’s talented young squad are all tied down to long-term deals, it’s something he sees as essential. It’s not just about protecting the club either.

“Yes, Arsenal want to know that their best talent are secured to long-term deals, but Edu is very big on ensuring players are rewarded for their performances and paid what they are worth. And in Gabriel, Arsenal have one of the very best defenders in the league.

“He only signed his last deal a couple of years ago, so there is no rush in terms of how long he has left, but in those two years since signing he has developed into one of the best centre-backs around.

“William Saliba gets most of the headlines at Arsenal, but Gabriel has been equally as impressive this season. In fact, in my mind anyway, he has had the better season of the two. He has been one of the big recent success stories at Arsenal.”

UNIQUE TO F365: Mediawatch | Mailbox | Winners & Losers | Bespoke Prem tables

Watts has also revealed that Gabriel “passed a medical” ahead of a move to Everton before he joined Arsenal in 2020 for £27m from Ligue Un outfit Lille.

“The deal to sign him from Lille for just £27m in 2020 has proven to be an absolute bargain. It could have been very different though because Gabriel almost ended up at Everton,” Watts added.

“He passed a medical ahead of a move to Goodison Park, only for the coronavirus pandemic to delay his switch to Merseyside.

“With football shut down, the transfer wasn’t finalised and just a few months later, Arsenal made their move and Gabriel opted for a switch to North London and has been an integral part of Arsenal’s rise back towards the top of English football ever since.”

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Will Arsenal win the Premier League title? Join the debate here.