According to Sky Sports, Everton are set to face competition from Manchester United in the race to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Brazilian has long been linked with a switch to Goodison Park this summer, but the latest developments surrounding his future doesn’t make for good reading for Everton fans.
Sky Sports claim that United are monitoring the 22-year-old ahead of a potential move, and that he is on the Red Devils’ radar thanks to his “age, potential and price” – a fee of £20m being suggested.
The report adds that Everton remain in the race to sign him, having submitted an official bid to Lille back in June.
With 56 goals conceded in the Premier League last season – only seven other teams let in more – there’s no real surprise that Everton are targeting a move a new central defender this summer.
And when you look at the kind of performances Gabriel has put in for Lille, then it’s clear why the Toffees simply have to win the race to sign him. As per Sofascore, he won a total of 6.3 duels per game in the league, meaning that he won 67% of his duels – that number actually jumps up to 70% if you factored in challenges contested on the ground.
Lille president Gerard Lopez waxed lyrical about the Brazilian and his physicality, saying: “I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now. His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.
“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.”
If Marcel Brands doesn’t get a deal over the line for Gabriel, and watches the Brazilian instead up joining rivals Manchester United, then he will be badly letting Carlo Ancelotti down.