Wolves eye Lille star Gabriel after Boly blow
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.
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.