Arsenal are in pole position to ‘snatch’ the signing of defender Gabriel Magalhães from under the noses of Napoli and Everton.

That’s according to France Bleu, who say the Brazilian defender could now be on his way to the Emirates after months of speculation.

The Lille centre back has been consistently linked with a move to the Premier League for several months, having at one stage been on the verge of a move to Everton.

That never happened, though, and he has since looked likely to move to Napoli, who were believed to be looking at him as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly should he leave Naples this summer.

However, there’s a new slant, with France Bleu stating that ‘the situation has changed’ and Arsenal are now leading the race.

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They report that Napoli had been in a position to complete the signing of the defender for ‘several weeks’, but Arsenal are ‘positioned on the file’ and can ‘snatch’ his signature from under the noses of their rivals.

The website offers no further information for that – for example, there’s no mention of an agreement with Arsenal and Lille or even between the Gunners are the player – just that they are at the front of the queue.

France Bleu don’t usually involve themselves in this sort of thing, though, so the fact they have speaks volumes.

Having said that, though, it is worth taking this latest update with a big pinch of salt.

Transfers out of Lille are never simple, as Arsenal saw with Nicholas Pépé last year.

The French side seem good at ramping up speculation about their players to push clubs into deals, and there’s every chance that’s happening with Magalhães.

Neither Everton nor Napoli have been rushing to get him signed so far but throwing the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United into the mix could get things going, something Lille and his agents will be more than aware of.