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Gabriel Magalhaes reveals Lampard admiration amid talk of £30m Chelsea bid

12:10 BST 23/04/2020
Gabriel Magalhaes Lille 2019-20
The defender has also been linked with Arsenal and Everton, but he is trying to keep his focus on his current club Lille

Gabriel Magalhaes has revealed his admiration for Frank Lampard amid reports Chelsea are interested in signing the Lille defender.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season for Lille and speculation has claimed that Chelsea, along with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Everton, are keen on a £30 million ($37m) summer deal.

The centre-back is under contract for another three years and, while focusing on his commitments with Lille, acknowledged he was a fan of Chelsea manager Lampard during the former England international midfielder’s playing days.

“He was a great player without a doubt,” Gabriel told UOL when asked about the prospect of being coached by Lampard. “He is one of those players that I admired on the small screen.

“But we have to be calm with all this. It is early and I renewed my contract with Lille until 2023.

“The focus now is to return to play and end the season at a high level, and qualifying Lille for the 2020-21 Champions League.”

Gabriel is aware of the rumours of interest from Chelsea and Everton and has received messages from supporters of the two clubs on social media.

He added: “I follow it, but I try to stay apart from it. I always tell my managers that, at this moment, I want to know as little as possible so as not to lose focus on the pitch.

“I am happy to see my name being linked with great teams. It shows that the work I’ve done so far has been good.

“I also see many fans of the two teams commenting on my posts on Instagram. It’s funny.”

Gabriel, who joined Lille in 2017, has been described as an "absolute machine" by the Ligue 1 club’s president Gerard Lopez, with there plenty of interest in the defender.

"It's true that he would like to go and try something else out. We haven't taken that decision yet, but he's received a number of offers," Lopez recently told Sky Sports.

"I feel he's closer to one club than others, but nothing's done yet so we'll see.

"He's an absolute machine, so to me, he's well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I'm certain he's on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.

"He's been linked to two clubs in the UK and he's clearly been linked to other clubs that have either enquired or moved forward with proposals for him, but we're not in a hurry and we're not playing right now. The player isn't on the pitch."