Gabriel Magalhaes has credited the personal intervention of Mikel Arteta convinced him to snub interest from rival suitors and make his switch from Lille to Arsenal.
The Gunners confirmed the signing of the Brazilian today with Gabriel still in quarantine having arrived from France last week to complete his medical and the finishing touches of his £25million move, signing a five year contract at the north London club.
Gabriel was not short of suitors. For a long time he was coveted by Everton and Napoli, both of whom had bids accepted by Lille, whilst Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain made late attempts to steal the Brazilian from Arsenal’s clutches.
However Gabriel was at pains to praise technical director Edu and in particular head coach Arteta for convincing him that a switch to north London was the right move.
“[Edu and I] had several chats about Arsenal and the new project, we had many good conversations,” he told the club website.
“As the days went by I was getting very excited about it, then I had a call from the coach and that was very reassuring.
“Having the coach himself calling you to say he wants you in his squad motivates you a lot. That is the very reason I am here today.
“We did not talk about [details], he just told me he is aware of my quality, my capacity and how far I can go. He also said he will be very demanding with me.
“I know he is a great coach and I will make progress with his help.”
Gabriel is Arsenal’s second senior signing of the window following fellow Brazilian Willian, who joined David Luiz in a Facebook video to announce the new arrival. The Gunners are hopeful that they will soon add Dani Ceballos back into their squad for a second loan spell from Real Madrid.