Arsenal are set to win the race for in-demand defender Gabriel Magalhaes – with Mikel Arteta playing a key role.
Magalhaes was reportedly in contact with Manchester United but never held concrete talks with the Red Devils.
Instead, his decision came down to a choice between the Gunners and Napoli after both clubs had offers accepted for the Lille centre-back.
The Times have reported that Magalhaes has completed his medical with Arsenal and is poised to sign a five-year deal at the Emirates in a deal worth up to £27million.
And reports in Italy claim Napoli have resigned themselves to losing out to Arsenal in the race.
Corriere dello Sport claim Arsenal have maintained ‘constant contact’ with Magalhaes in recent weeks to convince him to head to the Premier League.
They add that Magalhaes was left ‘stunned’ by Arteta’s determination to bring him to the club and that helped convince him make his move.
Lille president Gerard Lopez this week confirmed Magalhaes was making a decision between two clubs with Arsenal now appearing likely to get the nod. Lopez told talkSPORT on Thursday: “That and a couple of more clubs.
I think he’s narrowed it down. “I think it’s fair to say that Arsenal are a high interest to him, Napoli is a high interest to him. “We’ve given him plenty of time to make up his mind. We’ve always said,
‘Look, if we have an agreement with two clubs or three clubs and the agreements are the same then we are not going to create a bidding competition’, and that choice, I don’t think I’m giving up too much if I tell you that that choice is probably today or tomorrow.
“I’m unable to tell you what that choice is. We’ve given him some recommendations but we don’t like to talk about it in public because we don’t want people to feel bad.
We’ve talked about where he should go, but at the end of the day he and his environment make a choice and we support that.”