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Barcelona linked with Arsenal center-back Gabriel - report

The Brazilian defender is the latest entry into the rumor mill

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The latest player linked with a move to Barcelona this week is Arsenal center-back Gabriel, who is well liked at the Catalan club and could be the target of a transfer approach this summer, according to Diario SPORT.

The 24-year-old arrived at the Emirates Stadium two years ago and has become a fixture of the Gunners’ defense with his physical gifts, aerial dominance and good passing ability. The Brazil international has been one of the best players in a very good season by Arsenal’s young team led by Mikel Arteta, and is attracting real interest from big European clubs including Barça.

Gabriel is also left-footed, a clear need in the Barça squad given that Clément Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are both out of Xavi Hernández’s plans and will be moved in the summer. Barça already have Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araujo and Eric García, and Andreas Christensen will arrive from Chelsea on a free transfer in July, but all four are right-footed defenders which would make the signing of someone like Gabriel a smart move.

The report says Barça don’t have the funds for a straight transfer but could “trade” players that are of interest to Arsenal like backup goalkeeper Neto, striker Memphis Depay and midfielder Riqui Puig.

It’s certainly an interesting rumor. Gabriel is a good player with a profile that fits a need in the squad, and losing high-salary players without a real future in the team like Neto and Memphis is a nice prospect. We’ll see what happens.