Arsenal target Gabriel Magalhaes 'not allowed to wear favourite No 4 shirt' for Gunners as he closes on transfer

ARSENAL'S incoming signing Gabriel Magalhaes will be denied his favourite shirt number with William Saliba pipping him to the No4 jersey.

The Lille centre-back is closing in on a switch to join the Gunners after a fee of £27million was agreed with the Ligue 1 outfit.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has stated that the 22-year-old will pen a five-year deal at the Emirates.

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Gabriel is due to arrive in London on Monday, with Arsenal set to announce the move in the coming days.

Romano tweeted: "Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal, here we go!

"Total agreement just completed: he will fly on Monday to London to sign his contract until June 2025, €30M to Lille (add ons included), official statement on next week. The deal is finally done."

It's understood that Manchester United, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain were looking to hijack Arsenal's move, but Mikel Arteta convinced Gabriel to join his side.

But in a blow for Gabriel, his preferred No4 shirt is not available for him – with his future defensive partner Saliba taking the number of Mohamed Elneny a few weeks ago.

Gabriel has worn the No4 jersey at Lille since the 2018/19 season.

Should he be patient, he could wear the No5 top with Sokratis being eyed up by Napoli after they failed to land the ex-Dinamo Zagreb loanee.

The No6 shirt seems to be the most likely with the number being vacant since Laurent Koscienly joined Bordeaux last year.

Gabriel will be the second Brazilian to have linked up with Arsenal this transfer window after Willian signed on a free transfer.

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