Arsenal’s stance on selling Gabriel as Barcelona put defender top of transfer wishlist

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Arsenal will not entertain bids for defender Gabriel Magalhaes this summer despite strong interest from Barcelona, according to reports. The Brazilian was linked with a transfer to the resurgent Spanish giants this week but the Gunners have no desire to sell. 

Gabriel has been one of Arsenal’s best players this season. He and £50million summer signing Ben White have formed an excellent partnership at centre-back. 

The duo have been crucial during Arsenal’s surge up the table under Mikel Arteta. A four-match losing start left the North Londoners bottom of the Premier League at the September international break, but some fine form in mid-season has them battling for the top four.

Gabriel has been key during that run, even though successive defeats inflicted by Crystal Palace and Brighton have handed rivals Tottenham the advantage in the race for the final Champions League place. His form has earned him interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. 

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Several reports in the Spanish media this week have claimed that Barca are interested in signing the 24-year-old. The La Liga outfit have eased the financial troubles that plagued them last year and have been catapulted up the table by Xavi Hernandez, who replaced Ronald Koeman in November.

Football.London claim that those reports are true. Barca are keen to sign a left-footed centre-back in the summer and have Gabriel at the top of their shortlist – but Arsenal have no plans to sell. 

The publication continues that Gabriel is viewed as a key part of Arteta’s much talked about ‘project’. The Arsenal boss has trimmed a large chunk of deadwood from his squad and is piecing together a team of younger, hungrier stars. 

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Gabriel joined Arsenal from Lille in 2020 for a deal believed to be in the region of £27m. He has made 62 appearances for the club, of which exactly half have been this season. 

In March, Gabriel – who is yet to be capped by Brazil at senior level – appeared to suggest that he wants to stay at Arsenal for the foreseeable future. He told the club’s website:“After a year and a half here at Arsenal, everything is improving and going in the way that I’d dreamt it would. 

“I hope to keep making the fans happy. I’m working hard every day and it’s really pleasing if the fans can recognise that and it makes me really happy if they are pleased with my games. 

“We can all feel the fantastic support from our fans at Emirates Stadium in every game we play, and it’s a great feeling. I have to say that it also goes for when we play away too, with the way they get behind us. Our away supporters have really impressed me as well.”

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