'I want to go as high as possible' - Arsenal target Gabriel opens door to Premier League move

Comments()
Gabriel Magalhaes Lille 2019-20
The Brazilian is eager to secure a high profile move this summer to increase his chances of an international call up

Rumoured Arsenal target Gabriel has opened the door to a Premier League move, outlining his ambition to "go as high as possible" in the game.

Gabriel joined Lille from Brazilian outfit Avai in 2017, before being sent out on loan to Troyes to continue his development.

The defender took in another loan spell at Dinamo Zagreb before finally being trusted to step up to the first team at Stade Pierre Mauroy, and he is currently enjoying the best season of his fledgling career to date.

The 22-year-old has featured in 34 games in all competitions for Lille in 2019-20, helping the club rise to fourth in the Ligue 1 standings while also competing in the Champions League.

Unfortunately, French authorities took the decision to cancel all sporting events in March amid the coronavirus crisis, with final standings in the top-flight subsequently decided on a points-per-game basis.

Lille dropped into the Europa League as a result, and may struggle to keep hold of their best players when the summer transfer window opens.

Gabriel is the man attracting the most attention, with Arsenal reportedly lining up a £30 million ($37m) swoop for the centre-back as Mikel Arteta looks to increase his options at the back.

Napoli have also been linked with the Brazilian, who has now admitted that a move to England or Italy holds great appeal to him. 

Gabriel acknowledges the fact that stepping up to a bigger club will increase his chances of playing for his country at senior level, as he told L'Equipe: "It is gratifying because there are a lot of teams talking about me.

"I want to go as high as possible, I came to Europe for that. England or Italy? Both are good championships.

"I speak a lot to Luis Campos to see where it is best for me because he has a lot of experience. I also speak with my agents, with Gerard Lopez, with Jose Fonte.

"Gennaro Gattuso [Napoli's manager] likes me a lot? I don't know, we haven't talked. On the internet, on social networks, there are a lot of things coming out. I do not know what is true. I see every day, 'ah Gabriel goes there, then there'.

"But in fact, we don't know yet where I'm going to go. Wherever I go it will be to play, to be at the top, at the highest level. And above all in a team that will allow me to go to the Selecao.

"This is my big goal, my dream. I hope that I will be there soon."

Article continues below

The Lille star added on the improvements he has made this season: "I have progressed a lot. Especially in the passes between the lines. Before, I didn't do it too much.

"But today the big defenders are players who know how to break the lines, who know how to look for space, find the depth. I’ve progressed a lot on this aspect.

"Now I have to score more goals. If I knew what was going to happen, I would not be lying to you. But I don’t know, so I'm waiting."

Close