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Everton ‘hold the reins’ in Gabriel Magalhaes transfer race with Chelsea

Everton are reportedly leading the way in the hunt to sign Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes with Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester also believed to be interested.

Gabriel, 22, has impressed in Ligue 1 this season with Lille boasting the fifth-best defensive record in the division.

The Brazilian is strong on the ball and is strong in one-on-one battles, both on the ground and in the air.

The impressive season has understandably led to Gabriel being linked with a move to a big European club with PSG also having been interested.

However French outlet Le10Sport claim that the Ligue 1 giants are now “a long way” behind Everton with Thiago Silva potentially signing a new deal in the French capital.

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And the report adds that Everton now “hold the reins” ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal in the hunt for Gabriel.

The defender had his say on rumours surrounding his future earlier this month, though he insists his focus remains on his current club.

Gabriel said: “I can see them, yes. Every day, my friends send me things: clubs, lots of clubs.

Lille star Gabriel has alerted the attention of Chelsea and Everton
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“I’m happy because my work, and everything I’ve done, is rewarded. It’s not only good for me; it’s good for other people around me.

“But I’m happy in Lille; I’m very, very happy at the club. I love this club. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the objective is to bring LOSC back into the Champions League again.

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“For the rest, I will let my agents and the club talk about it, but I am very happy here.”

Gabriel has plenty of experience despite being just 22, appearing in all six of Lille’s Champions League matches before their exit in the group stage of the competition.

He has made 24 league appearances for Lille so far this term, scoring one goal though has not made a senior appearance for Brazil.

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