Lille president Lopez hails 'machine' Gabriel amid reported Premier League interest

Gabriel Magalhaes is linked with a move to the Premier League and the Lille president praised the defender.

Gabriel Magalhaes

Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes has reportedly become a target for Everton and fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea.   -  Getty Images

Lille president Gerard Lopez labelled Gabriel Magalhaes "an absolute machine" as the defender reportedly attracts interest from Everton.

Gabriel, 22, has starred for Lille to become a reported target for Everton and fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea.

Lopez confirmed the Brazilian wanted a move and there had been several offers for the defender.

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"It's true that he would like to go and try something else out. We haven't taken that decision yet, but he's received a number of offers," he told Sky Sports.

"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 any more 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."

Gabriel had made 24 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille this season before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lopez believes Gabriel belongs among the elite defenders in Europe, backing him to eventually play for Brazil.

"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 said.

"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 playfer isn't on the pitch."

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