Everton make offer for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes

By Alan Myers

Everton are one of four clubs to have made an offer for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

Another unnamed English club and two Italian sides have also had offers accepted by the Ligue 1 side and it is expected the deal could be finalised in the next 10 days, ready for next season.

The 22-year-old joined Lille from Brazilian side Avai in 2017 for £1.5m and he is expected to now cost around £30m after a string of impressive performances this season.

Arsenal and Tottenham were previously reported to have been keeping tabs on him in more than one English newspaper.

Magalhaes is one of a string of young stars emerging from Lille's squad under the stewardship of sporting director Luis Campos and head coach Christophe Galtier.

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Image: Gabriel Magalhaes in action against Neymar

Defensive midfielder Boubakary Soumare was a January target for Manchester United and Chelsea, while striker Victor Osimhen has been tracked by the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs.

Magalhaes is also highly sought-after as one of few promising young left-footed centre-backs, along with the likes of Evan Ndicka, who has been watched by Liverpool and Arsenal.

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Magalhaes has made 52 appearances for Lille, including six in the Champions League, having spent time on loan at Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb II before breaking into first-team football in France.

Will Gabriel be heading to England soon?

Image: Gabriel Lille

Gabriel signed a new deal with Lille in January until 2023, and he has already responded to the reports linking him with a move to the Premier League, telling Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte: "I just renewed the contract.

"I heard about conversations, I saw things on websites in England, but I have my head in Lille. I'm very calm to finish the season well and to achieve great things next season."

Image: Only PSG's Thiago Silva has completed more long passes than Gabriel

Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt be impressed by Gabriel's character. At the age of 13, he showed a dedication to his career by taking a 12-hour bus journey to Florianopolis to join Avai having been born and raised in Sao Paulo's Pirituba district. Upon his arrival at Lille, he taught himself French and now conducts interviews in the language.

Were it not for the coronavirus pandemic, Gabriel would have featured for Brazil's Under-23 Olympic side in friendlies set up against Croatia and Egypt this month. The year's long-term goal was to defend the gold medal won at Rio 2016 in Tokyo.

With that sporting event postponed by 12 months, another obstacle emerges. Gabriel turns 23 in December, meaning he will not fall within the age limit to play football at the Games, but the hope is that the International Olympic Committee and FIFA will make exceptions for those who would have been eligible to play this summer.

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