According to The Athletic’s Greg O’Keeffe, Everton’s chances of signing Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes this summer hangs in the balance.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the Toffees are firmly interested in luring the Brazilian to Goodison Park, although it’s been claimed that they face significant competition from both rivals home and abroad.
Now, The Athletic have revealed that Gabriel has been at the top of their list for potential centre-back targets, but that both Arsenal and the current financial situation surrounding most clubs across Europe has struck a blow to their chances.
O’Keeffe said: “Everton’s aim was to start by signing Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes, who has long been top of their list for centre-backs and is believed to have been keen on the move. The Athletic understands that deal remains in the balance, though, with Arsenal also strongly interested in the £25 million-rated, 22-year-old Brazilian and Everton yet to agree a fee with his French club, given the economic hit suffered by all clubs as a result of the pandemic.”
When Carlo Ancelotti took the job at Goodison Park late last year, it was no doubt seen as a major coup that Everton had landed one of the most renowned and decorated managers in recent European footballing history.
It was a sign that the Toffees were heading in the right direction, and were absolutely intent on muscling in on the Premier League’s traditional ‘big six’.
These transfer windows are arguably the big proving point for the Everton hierarchy, in the sense that they can show Ancelotti first-hand just how ambitious they really are.
Whilst money may well be tight given the circumstances, landing one of the Italian and the club’s priority targets would send the message that they mean business. Miss out on him, and in particular to rivals Arsenal, and it would really bring into question whether the Toffees are ready or even able to back their manager.