Villarreal boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has confirmed that negotiations with Arsenal for Gabriel Paulista are progressing well.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger earlier in the week admitted that the Gunners are already in talks with the Spanish club and there is a 50-50 chance of the defender making a move to the Emirates this month.
The Brazilian was left out of the squad for Villareal’s game against Levante and the Marcelino admits that “everything indicates” the defender will join the Gunners in the current January transfer window.
According to Euro Sport, he said:
It wouldn’t be fair if we don’t win at Levante and blame it on [the Gabriel speculation]. He’s a player who’s wanted in the dressing room and very important to the team.
At the moment, he remains part of the squad because we don’t know what will happen. Everything indicates that the negotiations are going in one direction, but until then he’s still ours.
Some reports from Spain are indicating that the North London club are only a matter of hours away from completing the signing. The report also states that an agreement with Villarreal is expected in the very near future and although the Spanish club are holding out for a fee around £15 million, the Gunners are hoping to come to terms for a lower fee.
He aggressively attacks the ball, routinely forcing turnovers and breaking up play, which is evident from the fact that he has more interceptions in league play than any of the current Arsenal defenders. He is a 6’2″ and 159-pound centre-back, who has the raw ingredients to make the transition into an excellent player. His tenacity and aggression make him a great fit for the physical demands of the Premier League.
The latest comments from the Villarreal boss more or less confirm that the deal is indeed very close. He would be a great signing without any doubt but the work permit issue is a big concern and I am still struggling to understand the logic in signing a player who is not assured of playing. Even if we complete Paulista’s capture, I feel we will need another defender just to be sure in case of the Brazilian not getting a work permit.
He would be a great signing but what if he fails to get a work permit?