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Lille owner confirms Man Utd & Arsenal-linked Gabriel will leave the club this summer

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The Premier League has been mooted as a possible next destination for the highly-rated Brazilian centre-back
Lille owner Gerard Lopez has confirmed that Manchester United and Arsenal-linked Gabriel will leave the club this summer.

Gabriel has established himself as one of the top defenders in Ligue 1 since breaking into Lille’s first team last season.

The 22-year-old helped Christophe Galtier’s side secure another top-four finish in 2019-20, featuring in 24 games before French football authorities called off the campaign in April.

Gabriel is contracted to remain at Stade Pierre Mauroy until 2023, but he has been tipped to move onto pastures new in the coming weeks amid interest from a number of top clubs.

Footballworld5 has reported that United and Arsenal have both identified the Brazilian as a transfer target, with Lille’s current valuation of a prized asset set at around £25 million ($33m).

The Gunners have a good relationship with the French club after securing Nicolas Pepe’s services last year, but the Red Devils are ready to compete for Gabriel’s signature as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to bring in a suitable partner for Harry Maguire at the back.

Lopez has now revealed that Lille have given the talented centre-half the green light to speak to potential suitors, while promising that the club will advise him on the best next step in his fledgling career.

“The way we work is very simple,” the 48-year-old businessman told BBC World Service’s World Football.

“We explain to him and his environment, his agent, what we are looking for, and once we get those offers the choice is his, like we did with Nico [Pepe] and Victor [Osimhen].

“We are there now, so we told him: ‘Eventually you have to make a decision but we’re not pressing you.’ I think he will make it this week, or next week at the latest. He is leaving, we’ve given the OK for that.

“There’s a lot of competition. He’s a young player so he’s got to make sure he makes the right decision. We help him out a little bit so we tell him: ‘We think this might be the right manager or club for you.’

“He’s got so much talent, he will succeed wherever he goes.”

Gabriel opened the door to a transfer back in June, as he expressed a desire to reach the very “highest level” of the game at both club and international level.

“I want to go as high as possible, I came to Europe for that. England or Italy? Both are good championships,” he told L’Equipe.

“Wherever I go it will be to play, to be at the top, at the highest level. And above all in a team that will allow me to play for the Selecao.”

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