Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta backed to sell four players after Gabriel Magalhaes transfer

Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes from French club Lille. Gabriel’s arrival would take the tally of first-team central defenders at Mikel Arteta’s disposal to eight.

William Saliba will start the season with the Gunners after spending the last campaign back on loan at Saint-Etienne following his £30million transfer.

Charlie Nicholas says Arteta should also keep David Luiz and Pablo Mari in his squad but get rid of the other four centre-backs.

Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are both injured and will miss the start of next season.

But Nicholas reckons they will both leave, along with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is wanted by Napoli, and Rob Holding.

“I don’t think it’s overly difficult for me to say who should go,” Nicholas told Sky Sports News.

“Gabriel must come in – would he be a good signing? Yes.

“We let Saliba stay at Saint-Etienne last season which was a ridiculous decision.

“People said ‘he’ll be naive and he’ll struggle in the English Premier League’ and you go: ‘Are these guys already here not struggling in the Premier League? They’re not doing it’. But they made that decision.

“So we welcome Saliba and if we can get Gabriel I think suddenly we’ve got a bit of pace and a bit of power there.

“Luiz was signed on a one-year contract as a squad player and maybe to play in a back three occasionally.

“But Mustafi will be sold. He’s injured just now but he will be sold, he has to go. Sokratis I think will say: ‘At my stage, I have to go’.

“Rob Holding, nothing against him, I don’t think Arsenal’s helped him.

“It was the wrong move at the wrong time for the lad. I think if the right offer comes in, he’ll go.

“And obviously Calum Chambers, who has been in and out of the club unbelievable amounts of times, will have to go for his own sake, rather than his long-term future at Arsenal – it doesn’t exist.

“So they’ll be four out, you get the money in, you replace it.”