Barcelona ‘rule themselves OUT of race to sign Arsenal star Gabriel Magalhaes as they can’t afford him’

BARCELONA have reportedly ended their pursuit of Arsenal centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes after concluding that they cannot afford him.

The Gunners defender has attracted interest from the Catalan giants after a solid campaign with the North London outfit.

And Barcelona were considering an offer at the end of the season as they look to bolster their options at the heart of their back line.

This has become a pressing issue for Xavi amid the uncertain futures of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet.

They were also thought to be keen on Gabriel because of his friendship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But according to Mundo Deportivo, Barca are no longer pursuing him because they would be unable to finance the deal.

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Gabriel would have reportedly cost the Spanish side around £34million.

The hefty price tag is largely a result of Gabriel being under contract with Arsenal until 2025.

It is because of this that the Gunners are in no rush to offload the Brazilian defender.

The 24-year-old has racked up 34 appearances for Mikel Arteta's side this season.

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He has become a mainstay of the Gunners' back line, playing every Premier League game since the beginning of September.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are also said to be keen on Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta as his Stamford Bridge contract edges towards its expiration date.

Last month a clause in the Spaniard's existing deal was triggered so his contract could be extended for a further 12 months.

However, he and the club may still yet come to an agreement for Azpilicueta to leave for free in the summer.

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