Edu had ‘greater impact’ than Mikel Arteta in luring Gabriel to Arsenal

Edu had a greater impact than Mikel Arteta in luring Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal.

The Brazilian has been a top target at the Emirates, particularly for the Gunners coach.

He has been desperate to sign a left-footed centre-back to partner William Saliba in defence.

It has been a major tactical marker that Arteta has made a priority to the Arsenal board as he looks to play out from the back.

Gabriel has been a star for Lille this season but was the subject of major interest from across Europe.

As well as Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea had been monitoring the situation.

And Napoli had made contact over a transfer as they prepare for Kalidou Koulibaly's departure.

The 22-year-old was offered greater terms that those on the table at Arsenal.

However, Gabriel has been convinced by the project at the Emirates – with Edu and Arteta pivotal.

But the Telegraph report that Arsenal's technical director had more of an impact than the coach.

Reporter Sam Dean tweeted: "I'm told that #AFC technical director Edu was "decisive" in convincing Gabriel Magalhaes to join Arsenal.

"The 22-year-old also spoke with Mikel Arteta but Edu made the difference amid interest from other clubs."

Edu, who was Brazil's technical director, has close connections with a number of players from his native land.

Willian was signed from Chelsea on a free transfer despite interest from Tottenham and Barcelona but Edu is thought to have played a huge role.

Arsenal are still chasing a deal for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey, who is Arteta's top priority in midfield.

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However, the Wanda Metropolitano outfit are not looking to sell and have told the Gunners they must fork out his release clause.

That stands at £45m at the moment, but Atletico are trying to negotiate a new contract with Partey that would see that raised.

Back-up targets include Roma's Amadou Diawara while the likes of Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi could be sold.

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