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Napoli 'close in on Gabriel Magalhaes to pave way for Kalidou Koulibaly exit'

Napoli 'close in on Gabriel to pave way for Koulibaly exit'
© Reuters
Napoli reportedly beat Manchester United and Arsenal to the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes in a deal which could pave the way for Kalidou Koulibaly to leave the club.

Napoli are reportedly closing in on the signing of Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes in a move which could open the door for Kalidou Koulibaly to leave the club this summer.

Gabriel has emerged as one of Europe's most coveted defenders, with Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal among the clubs thought to be interested in his signature.

However, the Manchester Evening News reports that Napoli have now won the race after agreeing personal terms with the 22-year-old.

Should that £22m deal go through then the report claims that Napoli would be willing to offload Koulibaly, who has been heavily linked with a move to United and Manchester City, among other clubs.

Koulibaly is a significantly more expensive option than Gabriel, although Napoli are thought to have lowered his asking price from a world-record fee for a defender of £90m down to £70m.

Both Manchester clubs are in the market for a new central defender this summer and regard Koulibaly as one of the best in the world in his position, although they are reluctant to spend such a hefty sum on a 29-year-old in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


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Lille's Gabriel in action in January 2020
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