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Everton closing in on first summer signing

The Toffees look set to beat a host of clubs to the Brazilian’s signature

Valencia CF v Lille OSC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with a move for Gabriel, who has made 34 appearances for Lille this season.

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.