So in the end, Manchester United failed to poach Gabriel Magalhaes but it’s was a close run thing, too close. The normally secretive transfer plans of Arsenal were blown wide open, which allowed other clubs to chance their arm.
United, who were previously uninterested in the left-footed centre-back, suddenly tried to throw a spanner in proceedings at the last minute with a handsome financial package. Napoli had also been interested but it’s understood, the player had admitted privately that his preferred destination was the Premier League.
The Gunners need to go back to the drawing board to secure their targets by arranging the negotiations, the medical, and the signing in the shortest time possible. Arsenal have left the door ajar on too many occasions and allowed the competition through when they should have slammed it shut.
The potential of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes together at the heart of the Arsenal defence had led to a wave of collective excitement on social media but when United decided to crash the party, many feared the worst.
Arsenal had barely managed to open the trap door to the Europa League next season by winning the FA Cup and have been without Champions League football for three years, hardly an enticement for such a young, talented and ambitious rising star.
The Brazilian links were incredibly important and the chance to play with some of his idols was probably a key factor in his move to North London. Edu would also have been very persuasive as were the likely contributions of David Luiz and Willian. There was also the prospect of playing with the phenomenally talented Gabriel Martinelli, which may have just tipped the balance.
United could offer the big sums but somehow Arsenal put together a deal that relied on something other than money. This bodes well for the club in the future and speaks volumes about Edu and Arteta’s persuasive charms in the two crucial transfer windows to come.
Arsenal may even have been victims of their own success having landed Martinelli, which may have alerted other clubs to their ability to find the occasional megastar. That hadn’t been done since Wenger’s heyday.
Anyway, apart from when Arsenal were connected with Gabriel Magalhaes, who had actually heard of him? Me neither but on the evidence of the subsequent research, I’m stunned I hadn’t. I’ve recently penned a blog about what he can bring to the team in the coming years and it’s worth spending time on YouTube, just to marvel at the modest fee the Gunners are paying.
Arsenal fans had to wait, what seemed like forever, to get their man but with deal concluded. Perhaps, the club can now focus on a playmaker and the signature of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.