Gabriel's team-mate drops major hint over Arsenal transfer move

Lille captain Jose Fonte admits Gabriel has been picking his brain about the Premier League, fuelling rumours of an impending move to Arsenal this summer.

The Ligue 1 outfit are resigned to losing Gabriel ahead of the 2020/21 campaign and have given the 22-year-old permission to talk to other clubs.

Widespread reports on Tuesday claimed the Gunners had reached an agreement with Lille worth around £22million for Gabriel and the defender is expected to make a final decision over his future in the coming days.

Manchester United are yet to lodge a bid for Gabriel after making their interest known some time ago but Napoli remain firmly in the race for the highly-rated centre-back.

However, Arsenal have emerged as firm favourites to land Gabriel and the Brazilian’s team-mate, Fonte, has lifted the lid on their conversations about a possible switch to England.

Asked about the rumours surrounding Gabriel, the Lille skipper told talkSPORT: ‘I think it’s quite public, to be honest. The club have allowed him to speak with other clubs and he’s in the process of moving.

‘It’s just about him choosing which club, which is a great position to be in. He just needs to choose where he wants to go so that’s fantastic.

‘They are all good clubs so I’m very happy for him. He’s a great player.

‘We need to understand that it’s every player’s dream to play in the Premier League and he’s been asking questions about the Premier League and clubs in the Premier League so I try to give the best and honest opinions.

Fonte added: ‘Hopefully he will make his decision and he will be very successful with it.

‘I have no doubt about it.’

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is determined to strengthen at centre-half this summer despite already landing Saint-Etienne’s William Saliba, who spent last season on loan with the French club.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been heavily linked with a move away from north London but the Greek’s agent has dismissed rumours he could leave.

‘He will stay,’ Konstantinos Farras insisted last month.

‘I don’t see a reason to leave.

‘I don’t know why everyone is writing wrong and fake news.’

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