Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton to battle for Lille's Gabriel - sources

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Chelsea and Arsenal are battling to sign promising Lille centre-back Gabriel, while Everton are pushing hard to reach an agreement, sources have told ESPN.

The 22-year-old was having a great season in Ligue 1 before the suspension of the league due to coronavirus and is in high demand all over Europe, with particular interest coming from the Premier League.

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Chelsea were the first one to start talks with the player's agent and Lille sporting director Luis Campos, who has close ties to his Stamford Bridge counterpart Marina Granovskaia.

Chelsea were optimistic they could get the the deal done, as reported by ESPN last week, but Everton are now leading the chase. Like Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, Carlo Ancelotti has also been very impressed by the left footed defender, who is aggressive and very good on the ball too.

Sources have told ESPN that Everton have made a £30 million offer for the Brazilian -- the minimum Lille are willing to accept. However, the French side are hopeful Chelsea will formally enter the race with acounter-offer.

Arsenal are considering making a bid, too, although the Gunners are also keen on another centre-back from Ligue 1 in Axel Disasi. The 22 year old Reims defender has been excellent this season and could be available for around £20m.