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Lille President: Gabriel is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe

Lille president Gerard Lopez believes Chelsea target Gabriel Magalhaes is already one of the most dominant centre-backs in Europe at the ...


Lille president Gerard Lopez believes Chelsea target Gabriel Magalhaes is already one of the most dominant centre-backs in Europe at the moment.

Lopez told Sky Sports that Gabriel is wanted by two English clubs, and he's close to leaving Lille for a big club.

“It’s true that he would like to go and try something else out,” he said.

“We haven’t taken that decision yet, but he’s received a number of offers. I feel he’s closer to one club than others, but nothing’s done yet, so we’ll see.

“I wouldn’t want to say anymore as I respect the player too much. The mechanism I have in place, and we saw that work so well with Nico [Nicolas Pepe], is that I have a certain price in mind for a player, and at the end of the day it’s the player’s choice to go and play where he wants to play – that’s the respect that I have for them.

“I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now. His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.

“He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.

“He’s been linked to two clubs in the UK, and he’s clearly been linked to other clubs that have either enquired or moved forward with proposals for him. But we’re not in a hurry and we’re not playing right now. The player isn’t on the pitch.”

The 22-year-old Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea and Everton.


Written by Vince @blue_footy


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