The three players Barcelona could exchange for Arsenal’s Gabriel
One of the biggest pieces of transfer news coming out of Catalonia on Tuesday is that FC Barcelona are reportedly interested in Arsenal and Brazil defender Gabriel Magalhaes
Joining the Gunners from Lille in a $32.5mn deal in 2020, the 24-year-old has seen his stock rise in North London and has been propelled to the Selecao national team while also catching the eye of Europe's top clubs with top form in the Premier League.
After negotiating with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen from Chelsea who are soon free agents, Barca are in the market for a left-footed central defender, according to SPORT, which has led them to Gabriel.
The Catalan daily paper says that first team coach Xavi is an admirer of the Sao Paulo native and the prospect of luring him to the Camp Nou has already been discussed with president Joan Laporta and the board as exits for Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are likely when the current season finishes.
With Barca mired in debts of around $1.5bn, however, making big signings is complicated. Not only is Gabriel tied down to a contract until June 30, 2025, but his value could have already doubled or tripled and is surely far more than the €30mn ($32.5mn) quoted by trusted site TransferMarkt.
To try and lower the cost of any potential coup, then, Barca are willing to offer up to three players in a part exchange deal SPORT say. Namely, they are striker Memphis Depay, midfielder Riqui Puig, and goalkeeper Neto.
None of the trio are earning minutes under Xavi at present, and the player that would perhaps take Arsenal's fancy most is Memphis. The Netherlands international has lost the early season protaganism he enjoyed under compatriot and Xavi's predecessor Ronald Koeman, especially since the arrival of ex-Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and offloading him to land Gabriel would be a masterstroke considering he was signed on a free last summer.
Arsenal have also enquired about Neto in past transfer windows, and are in need of a goalkeeper. As for Puig, he is the playmaking midfielder that the Gunners also recently enquired about in his ex-teammate Arthur Melo according to reports, and in short all three options might appeal to Mikel Arteta's men in one way or another.