Arsenal ‘aware’ of shock Saudi ‘interest’ in £27m Arteta favourite with stance over sale unclear

Jason Soutar
Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba celebrate a win.
Gabriel Magalhaes, Emile Smith Rowe and William Saliba celebrate a win.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes is the latest Premier League star to be linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

The Gunners signed the Brazilian centre-back from Lille for a fee in the region of £27million in 2020.

After a difficult start to life at the Emirates, Gabriel has established himself as one of Mikel Arteta’s most important players.

There have been plenty of rumours of Juventus expressing an interest in the 25-year-old, though Arsenal have always insisted the former Lille defender is not for sale.

Gabriel signed a new five-year contract last October, which all but ended any talk of an exit.

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However, a move to Saudi Arabia could be on the cards, much to the surprise of the Arsenal fan base.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal are ‘aware of interest’ from Saudi Arabia and it is unclear whether or not they will be ‘open to selling’ having ‘rebuffed’ interest in the past.

The Gunners are ‘under no pressure’ to sell Gabriel and have not yet received an official offer for him and it is noted that it would be a ‘huge rush’ for Arsenal to sell the player and then find a replacement, especially with Jurrien Timber expected to miss several months through injury.

With Timber out, the report notes that Arsenal are ‘keen’ not to receive a bid from a Saudi Arabian club.

Gabriel made 50 appearances last term, starting 46 times. He also contributed with three goals, including winners against Fulham at home and Chelsea away.

He was a surprise omission from Arteta’s starting XI to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Gabriel did come off the bench late on to help see out the win, but he did not start with Arteta favouring a back four of Thomas Partey, Benjamin White, William Saliba, and Timber.

Arsenal are one team who have struggled to attract interest in their players from Saudi Arabia.

While the likes of Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been bailed out by the Saudi riches, the Gunners have struggled to offload unwanted players like Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.

Reports suggest Pepe is wanted by Besiktas, who want the Gunners to terminate the player’s contract.

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