Everton are closing in on Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes with multiple media outlets now reporting that the Toffees are “confident” of landing the Brazilian.
The Mail’s Dominic King and Guardian’s Andy Hunter are among those claiming that the Blues have beaten a host of clubs to the 22-year-old’s signature, with the fee believed to be in the region £25-30m.
Everton are confident they have done enough to win the race to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille. Deal will cost more than £25m, a player they have been pursuing for some time— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) April 16, 2020
Carlo Ancelotti has prioritised the signing of a central defender this summer with Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina his only senior options.
Ancelotti’s predecessor Marco Silva spent much of last summer chasing Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma without success, leaving the team short in that area.
Everton director of football Marcel Brands has been reportedly working on the deal for two months, with talks continuing despite the coronavirus lockdown.
The presence of fellow Brazilians Richarlison and Bernard may also have played a role in persuading Gabriel to move to Goodison Park. The Brazil U20 international has been seen interacting with Richarlison on social media.
Gabriel, who joined from Brazilian side Avai in 2017, has been a mainstay in Lille’s defence this season, helping the club mount a challenge for a Champions League place.
Les Douges were fourth in Ligue 1 and had the third-best defensive record in the division before the coronavirus shutdown last month.