Barcelona Look to Gabriel to Bolster Their Defence

ARSENAL center-back Gabriel is reportedly the subject of interest from a resurgent Barcelona side who look set for a busy summer in the transfer market.

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The 24-year-old has been imperious alongside Ben White for the Gunners this season, and has garnered the attention of a whole host of Europe’s elite. The Brazilian made the switch to North London from Lille in 2020 following a £27million move, and although a move away from Arsenal so soon seems unlikely, Barcelona’s breathtaking rebuild under new manger Xavi Hernandez is a tempting prospect.

The Blaugrana already have a deal in place for another defensive summer acquisition, with Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen the latest in a long line of impressive free transfers made by returning President Joan Laporta.

Meanwhile, they are also said to be plotting a move for another of Chelsea’s center-backs in Antonio Rüdiger, although they are likely to face stiff competition from long-time admirers Real Madrid.

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona are in the market for a left-footed central defender, with the ongoing exodus of fringe players likely to include Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti this summer.

Prying one of Arsenal’s top talents away from The Emirates is certainly a tall order, but Sport also report that the Catalans are willing to offload several big names as part of the deal, with Memphis Depay, talented young player Riqui Puig and second-choice keeper Netto all touted as possible makeweights.

Gabriel, who recently earned his first call-up to the Brazil senior team, remains under contract with Arsenal until 2025, and there have been reports that the hierarchy are looking to offer him an contract to ward off any improved potential suitors.

Mikel Arteta has been full of praise following an imposing second-season performance, and will almost certainly be standing in the way of any potential transfer. The Spaniard spoke of his talents back in September, saying: “We know that he’s a player with an incredible future and is already giving us a lot.”

“He has adapted really well to the league. That’s why we signed him.

“He is stepping in, his language is much better and he can coach and communicate much better with his teammates.

“He understands what we want and I don’t think it gets much harder than playing here in the Premier League.”

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