Everton are now leading the race for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhães after talks with Napoli did not progress as expected.

The Blues have been heavily linked with signing a central defender this summer, with it believed Carlo Ancelotti is desperate to add to his backline.

Magalhães is a player on their list, and they appeared to have wrapped up a deal earlier this year when a deal was agreed with both the player and his club, and he even underwent a medical.

However, the Coronavirus outbreak appeared to have ruined their chances, with Everton stepping back from the deal and Napoli instead looking likely to sign him.

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They were eyeing up a deal for the centre back, particularly with Kalidou Koulibaly linked with a move away this summer, but Foot-Sur 7 say that things have hit the buffers.

According to the website, Napoli were looking to move for Magalhães once they completed a deal for teammate Victor Osimhen, but the talks between the two clubs have ‘not really advanced’.

Instead, the ‘optimism’ that was coming from both parties have now been replaced by ‘big doubt’ about the transfer.

Gabriel is now not expected to join Napoli, with the ‘trail’ leading to Naples now ‘increasingly uncertain’.

That has ‘encouraged’ Everton to revive their interest and Foot-Sur 7 states they have now ‘positioned’ themselves as a ‘serious contender’ for his signature.

They’ve reportedly made an ‘interesting offer’ for the defender, and a deal should be wrapped up quickly as those in charge at Goodison Park know the deal that Lille want.

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Thus, Gabriel has a ‘good chance’ of moving to the Premier League, a division that does not leave him ‘indifferent’.

This update is a massive turnaround in the situation, with pretty much every man and his dog suggesting Everton were now out of the reckoning and could even miss out to another team in the Premier League.

Indeed, Foot-Sur 7 are the only ones reporting this apparent issue in the deal with Napoli, with nobody else in France, and certainly nobody in Italy, suggesting that is the case.

That means it would be wise to take this update with a massive pinch of salt at this point, with this long winding saga not running out just yet.