Arteta excited by prospect of Gabriel signing as Arsenal work to 'finalise' deal


Mikel Arteta is feeling "pretty positive" about Arsenal's chances of concluding a deal for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes and is excited by the prospect of signing the Brazilian. 

Gabriel, 22, has been strongly linked with Arsenal for several weeks following an impressive season in Ligue 1, with reports suggesting an agreement on a €30million (£27.7m) move is close. 

Arsenal had defensive issues for much of the 2019-20 campaign and always appeared destined to invest in reinforcements – and Gabriel looks certain to be the next new face to arrive at the club. 

Although still somewhat inexperienced, Arteta is thrilled that a switch for the centre-back is close to completion. 

"Regarding Gabriel, we cannot announce anything yet, the deal is not finalised - you all know he is a player that we have followed for a long time and hopefully we can get it done," Arteta told reporters on Thursday ahead of the Community Shield clash with Liverpool. 

"Everything is okay once both parties sign, and the player agrees the terms and he goes through the medical - sometimes that, in the final stages, is not as easy as it looks, but we are pretty positive that we can do it.

"When we get it done, I will be very pleased. He's a player that we've followed and we're very determined that it was the right profile for us to improve our squad. If we are able to finalise it, we will be delighted."

Asked exactly how close the club are to sealing the transfer, Arteta replied: "We are trying to finalise a deal. That's what I can tell you at the moment." 

Arsenal are also keen on securing a return to the club for Dani Ceballos, who spent 2019-20 on loan from Real Madrid and excelled under Arteta towards the end of the season. 

"Well, we had some talks and Dani knows really well what I think about him," Arteta added. 

"He was pretty clear with me as well that his intention was to remain with us, but obviously Real Madrid is involved and I don't know yet what they want to do with the player. 

"But he's a player that we are interested in because we really saw, in the last few months of the season, what he is capable of bringing to us."