Wolves eye Lille star Gabriel after Boly blow

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves will make further checks on highly-rated Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes as they seek out defensive cover for injured Willy Boly in January.

First-choice centre back Boly injured his ankle during training last Saturday and has been ruled out for months, making a centre-back like Gabriel a major transfer priority for Wolves.

The Daily Mail have reported Wolves’ interest in the 21-year-old Brazilian and state that Nuno Espirito Santo is also targeting a midfielder and a forward in January.

That is because some of the club’s summer transfer recruits, including on-loan Real Madrid centre-back Jesus Vallejo, have so far failed to deliver to the expected levels.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi says the club are prepared to invest in new talent in the January transfer window to combat recent injury problems.

And Molineux spies have already identified Lille centre-back Gabriel, as the West Midlanders look for defenders who can play on either side of Nuno’s preferred back three formation.


A club spy saw Gabriel put in an outstanding display in their 3-0 home Ligue 1 win over Bordeaux last Saturday and they may look at him again when Les Dogues travel to Marseille this weekend.

A physically strong player who is comfortable on the ball, Gabriel has adapted fully to the demands of European football after moving from South America as a teenager.

Lille have him under contract at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy until the end of next season and, although he has only become a first-choice starter for them this term, will surely demand up to 10m euros for his signature.

Paying a high fee might actually help Wolves secure a work permit for Gabriel, who has yet to earn a senior cap for Brazil.

But his Under-20 caps and Champions League experience would count in his favour if there was any issue over gaining Home Office approval.