Manchester United’s reported search for a new centre-back is said to have led in the direction of Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Daily Record report the £22.5 million rated defender is being lined up for a summer transfer to Old Trafford.

So who is Gabriel Magalhaes and what do we need to know about the potential signing?

1) Gabriel plays for French side Lille and has been at the club since 2017. This is his most productive season for the club so far, making 34 first team appearances, including six in the Champions League.

2) The 22-year-old fits an important profile Manchester United are looking for in a centre-back: he is left-footed.

Paris Saint-Germain v Lille OSC - Ligue 1
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

3) Gabriel had to fight to break through at Lille and had two unimpressive loan spells at Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb. He is now seen as a key player for the Ligue 1 side.

4) Gabriel leads Lille’s defenders this season in aerial duels won, with an average of 3.5 per match. This is higher than all of United’s defenders, barring Harry Maguire.

5) He likes to pass the ball out from the back and averages more passes than any Lille player this season with 62 per game. This fits with what United will ask from him.

Who did he nearly sign for?

Everton were on the verge of signing Gabriel before the lockdown in March.

The Independent reported that the centre-back had even passed an off-site medical check for the club ahead of a move, but this transfer appears to have fallen through.

 

Goal has reported earlier this summer that Chelsea are interested along with Napoli in case Kalidou Koulibaly leaves, with the same outlet also linked Arsenal with a switch.

It is very unlikely Lille hang onto him this summer, and there is a good chance he ends up in the Premier League one way or another.

His Lille boss Christoph Galtier has admitted via Ligue 1’s website that he has already accepted Gabriel will leave this summer.

Lille OSC v Olympique Lyonnais - Ligue 1
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Verdict

If United are able to get a deal done for Gabriel for under £30 million then this could be an excellent piece of business.

United will not have too much money to spend at the back if most of the funds are concentrated on Jadon Sancho.

Gabriel is young, has already played in the Champions League, and has key attributes United are looking for.

Gabriel is strong in the air, reads the game well, is left-footed and likes to pass the ball out from the back. This is exactly what United want.

For the fee being discussed, he could be a bargain. This would be one of the better value defensive deals United could do this summer.

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