Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano recently appeared on an episode of The Beautiful Game podcast to discuss some of the biggest transfer rumours from this summer.
One topic of conversation on the recent episode was Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes. The Brazilian has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal in recent months, but the Italian journalist has suggested that the 22-year-old was extremely close to joining Everton before the pandemic prevented the deal from being completed.
Here’s what Romano had to say about the centre-back on the podcast:
“I can tell you in February, before the virus, Gabriel had medicals with Everton, he was ready to join Everton. [Carlo] Ancelotti wanted him at Everton, so he had medicals, he had an agreement, everything was done. Then we had the virus in March and everything changed.”
It seems unfortunate for Everton that the viral outbreak seemingly scuppered their chances of signing Gabriel – although Ancelotti’s side are still being linked with the Brazilian, suggesting that they are still keen to complete his transfer. However, they may need to act quickly, with Napoli also being heavily linked with the Brazilian, who has been touted as a potential replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly (per Duncan Castles).
Are you frustrated that Everton were seemingly so close to signing Gabriel?
The 22-year-old was Lille’s fourth-best player across the Ligue 1 season, averaging a strong 6.93 rating for his performances (per WhoScored), so you can understand why he is attracting so much interest across Europe. It will be interesting to see where the young defender ends up this summer, as from the number of clubs taking an interest in him, you would suspect that he won’t be a Lille player much longer.