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Friday's Arsenal transfer talk news roundup: Kalidou Koulibaly, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Chris Smalling

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest transfer talk for Arsenal on Friday, August 21.

The summer transfer window has now begun, with rumours and speculation continuing to swirl as Arsenal eye possible reinforcements.

The Gunners spent more than many expected last summer - most notably their club-record purchase of Nicolas Pepe - but were more reserved in January as they focused on bolstering their defensive options.

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest news on possible comings and goings at the Emirates Stadium.

Friday morning's Arsenal transfer talk news roundup:

Manchester United 'attempt to hijack Arsenal move for Gabriel Magalhaes'

Lille's Gabriel in action in January 2020© Reuters

Manchester United are reportedly attempting to beat Arsenal to the signature of Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Gunners are believed to be in pole position to land the central defender, who is expected to leave his French club in a £22m deal, potentially before the end of the month.

However, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, United have now made a late move for the Brazilian, holding talks with his representatives over a potential deal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are believed to be keen on bringing a new centre-back to the club this summer due to the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

Gabriel, who has also been linked with Napoli as the Italians seek a long-term replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, made 34 appearances for Lille last term, including six outings in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, United are said to be on the verge of agreeing a lucrative new deal with Dean Henderson.

Arsenal 'confident of securing Gabriel Magalhaes deal'

Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Arsenal are reportedly becoming 'increasingly confident' of winning the race to sign Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes during this summer's transfer window.

The 22-year-old enjoyed an impressive 2019-20 for his French club, making 34 appearances in all competitions, including six outings in the Champions League.

The Gunners have been strongly linked with the defender in recent weeks, although Napoli have also been credited with an interest as they potentially look to replace Kalidou Koulibaly.

According to the Evening Standard, despite the presence of Napoli in the race for the Brazilian, Arsenal are confident of securing his signature ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

The report claims that Mikel Arteta's side have already made a £22m offer for the centre-back, who has also previously been linked with Everton and Manchester United.

Lille defender Jose Fonte recently suggested that Gabriel was interested in a move to England.

More transfer news from Arsenal:

Tottenham Hotspur 'planning £20m Ainsley Maitland-Niles move'
Tottenham Hotspur are lining up a £20m bid for Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to a report. Read more.

Arsenal suffer blow in Joelson Fernandes pursuit?
Joelson Fernandes, who has been strongly linked with Arsenal, is on the verge of penning a new deal with Sporting Lisbon, according to a report. Read more.

Sokratis targeted by Roma as Chris Smalling alternative?
Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is reportedly a target for Italian outfit Roma, following the departure of Chris Smalling. Read more.

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Jorginho in action for Chelsea on July 22, 2020
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