La Liga Giants Linked With Move for £10m-Rated Arsenal Defender as Transfer Window Reaches Apex

Tuesday August 8th, 2017

Arsene Wenger could be set to sanction the departure of one of his central defenders this summer, despite moving to a system featuring three at the back with a pair of wing-backs, with Primera Division side Valencia considering a move for Gabriel. 

The Mirror report that the Spanish giants' new coach Marcelino is interested in the fiery 26-year-old, who moved to the Emirates two and a half years ago in a deal worth just over £11m. 

The 51-year-old coach is said to have admitted an interest in Jeison Murillo and Ivan Marcano of Inter and Porto respectively in addition to Gabriel, saying: “I think they are possible. We’re talking about important players who already know our league. They speak Spanish, and that’s important, so their adaptation would be very quick.”

The Brazilian centre-back started 15 Premier League games last season, sitting behind Laurent Koscielny and last summer's big-money signing Shkodran Mustafi in the pecking order - and the return to fitness of Per Mertesacker has seen him pushed even further from the first team. 

Combined with the emergence of Rob Holding, Wenger's willingness to play left-back Nacho Monreal on the left-hand side of a back three and the Frenchman's admission that he plans to use Mohamed Elneny as a utility centre-back this season, Gabriel's path to first-team football at the Emirates looks more or less blocked. 

The Gunners are expected to have something of a clear-out of a number of squad players before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, with Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez all expected to depart. 

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