Reports in the English media this weekend suggest that, despite claims to the contrary, Manchester United did not express a genuine interest in the signature of Arsenal-bound Gabriel Magalhaes this summer.
Red Devils links rejected
On the back of weeks of rampant speculation, Lille star Gabriel’s move to the Emirates is expected to be made official any day now.
Gabriel Magalhães to Arsenal, here we go! Total agreement just completed: he will fly on Monday to London to sign his contract until June 2025, €30M to Lille (add ons included), official statement on next week. The deal is finally done. ⚪️🔴 #AFC #Arsenal #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 22, 2020
The central-defender, fresh off the back of a superb campaign in Ligue 1, had been named as a prime target for a host of Europe’s top clubs this summer, though.
Another outfit to have been thrown into the mix as a last-minute suitor, meanwhile, were Manchester United.
In the days leading up to Arsenal’s agreement for Gabriel being confirmed, claims began to emerge in the media that the Red Devils had made contact with the stopper’s representatives, in an attempt to usurp their Premier League rivals.
This was swiftly followed by confirmation from Gabriel’s agent that the Lille star had turned down ‘more lucrative’ offers to commit to a move to the Emirates:
‘Arsenal was nowhere near the best proposal [money wise]. Gabriel chose them over more lucrative offers because Edu convinced us of the project. It’s 100% because of Edu Gaspar and Arteta.’
As outlined above, however, if such proposals were indeed forthcoming, it does not appear as though they were on the part of Manchester United.
As per a report from the Manchester Evening News, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men never expressed a genuine interest in Gabriel’s signature.
Instead, it is suggested that ‘their name was simply being used in order to pressure Arsenal into completing a deal’.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) August 28, 2020
‘I think that’s huge’
In other Gabriel-related news, meanwhile, the Brazilian’s imminent arrival has today been praised by one of Arsenal’s former stars.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Star, Paul Merson was drawn on the gap in quality between the Gunners and the Premier League’s elite.
And, after labelling today’s Community Shield clash as a ‘benchmark’ regarding his ex-club’s progress under Mikel Arteta, Merson went on to reveal his opinion that Gabriel’s signing marks ‘a big statement’ on Arsenal’s part:
‘The Community Shield is a benchmark for Arsenal to see how far behind Liverpool they still are.’
‘They could beat Liverpool and win the game. Of course they could. But that’s what Arsenal are – a cup team.’
‘On their day they can beat anybody. But how often is their day? Over 38 games it’s Liverpool who are consistent. That’s what Arsenal need to find. Consistency.’
‘If Arsenal sign Gabriel Magalhaes I think it’s a big statement because of all the other clubs that were after him.’
‘If Arsenal have managed to get him in without having Champions League football to offer, I think that’s huge.’
Reports in the English media this weekend suggest that, despite claims to the contrary, Manchester United did not express a genuine interest in the signature of Arsenal-bound Gabriel Magalhaes this summer. Red Devils links rejected On the back of weeks of rampant speculation, Lille star Gabriel’s move to the Emirates is expected to be madeFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed