Arsenal could still cash in on Gabriel Magalhaes before the transfer window closes despite Mikel Arteta swatting away speculation earlier this week.
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The Brazilian, who was ever-present last season, was surprisingly left out of the starting XIs to face both Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace – though he did make an appearance off the bench in both games.
There has been speculation that Gabriel is attracting interest from Saudi Arabia and could be allowed to leave after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates.
Arteta insisted that was not the case on Monday night after a hard-fought 1-0 win at Selhurst Park, but the Daily Mail have suggested the 25-year-old’s future remains in doubt.
Several clubs in Saudi Arabia have been exploring a deal and they remain keen to lure Gabriel to the Middle East.
Real Madrid are also weighing up a move as they look to bring in cover for Gabriel’s compatriot Eder Militao, who suffered an ACL injury and will miss most of the season.
While it is still more likely that Gabriel will remain in north London, there remains a small chance the Gunners could sell him before the transfer window closes.
Any sale would be dependent on Arsenal managing to bring in a player they believe is an upgrade – particularly with Jurrien Timber’s injury depleting their defensive options – but that could prove difficult.
Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi is a player Arteta and Arsenal admire but it is extremely unlikely that the Eagles would allow the England international to leave this late in the window.
It would take an enormous offer for Palace to even consider engaging in talks, but Arsenal are currently at their limit from a Financial Fair Play perspective – restrictions that forced them to sign goalkeeper David Raya on an initial loan.
Asked if potential interest in Gabriel from Saudi Arabia had influenced his non-selection in the first two games of the season, Arteta said earlier this week: ‘No, nothing at all.
‘It’s about the games we were expecting, that I was expecting, and how I wanted to defend and attack and what I believed was the best thing.
‘He’s played in both games, he helped us to win both games for different reasons.
‘He was really good today, he absolutely dominated the box when he came on and he’s going to play a lot of games. But that’s the decision sometimes.’
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