Arsenal are on the verge of signing Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes after he completed a medical yesterday and Mikel Arteta has put four defenders up for sale to fund the deal.
Arsenal and Lille have a strong relationship after the Gunners bought Nicolas Pepe for a club-record £72million last summer.
The two clubs have been in talks again over recent weeks and have agreed a £27m fee for Magalhaes.
The Brazilian’s representatives have also held talks with Manchester United and Napoli.
But the Times claims Arsenal have beaten their rivals to sign Gabriel on a five-year deal.
However, Arteta has been told he would be given a tight budget this summer and he has to balance the books with player sales.
The Spaniard has eight centre-backs at his disposal and he intends to show four of them the exit door.
Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are two of the fringe stars who have been told they will not be part of Arteta’s plans, according to the Times.
Two of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and Pablo Mari are also expected to be moved on.
William Saliba has returned from his loan spell with St Etienne and will challenge Gabriel, David Luiz and the remaining defender for a starting spot.
Meanwhile, Gabriel’s Lille team-mate Jose Fonte has been giving the youngster some advice ahead of his move to England.
“The club (Lille) have allowed him to speak with other clubs. He’s in the process of moving,” Fonte told talkSPORT.
“It’s just about him choosing which club, which is a great position to be in. They’re all good clubs.
“We need to understand that every boy’s dream is to play in the Premier League and he’s been asking questions about the Premier League.
“He has been asking questions about clubs in the Premier League. I try to give the best and honest opinions.”
Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed that an announcement will be made this weekend.
“We gave him plenty of time to make a decision,” he said.
“We gave him some advice but in the end he and his entourage will make a choice and we will support it.”
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