The Independent understands a contract offer had been presented to Gabriel’s representatives before the coronavirus outbreak severely escalated, with Everton confident of moving early to sign the sought-after Brazilian.
Yet, with football now suspended and no clarity over when the season will end – or when the transfer window can reopen – there is a fear the 22-year-old could now bide his time before making any decision over his future.
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Gabriel, who joined Lille from Brazilian side Avia in 2016 for just £1.5m, has been a key member of the club’s Ligue 1 and Champions League campaigns, featuring in both group stage fixtures against Chelsea last year.