Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are in talks with Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista and that Coquelin is in line for a new deal.
In a surprising revelation that is not usually Arsene Wenger’s style, the manager confirmed media reports that Arsenal were in talks with Paulista over a possible transfer. He said, “We are ready to pay the price for a player if he is good enough. If the price is right, we will pay.
The talks are progressing quite well. Can we find an agreement or not? There’s a chance.”
In the past Arsene only ever vaguely referred to transfers, so this confirmation is testament to how far the talks have advanced.
Arsene also confirmed that Francis Coquelin is in line for a new deal at the club following his impressive performances. About giving him the opportunity in the team, the manager said, “I saw that he made huge improvements in training and I explained to him that for me to give him a potential chance, he needed match practice.
“I could not give him that, I could give him that only if he played somewhere else before. He took the challenge [at Charlton], he came back and since I have played him, he is doing well.”
Arsene then confirmed that Arsenal have offered a new deal to the Frenchman, saying “Yes, of course. He is a very young player. You look just at what happens on the pitch. Win the ball and make a good pass, in his position that is important.
“We have offered him a new deal. I am confident that it will be done.”
Arsene also went on to talk about the Manchester City game and whether there has been a change in approach at the club.
He said, “We had a very controlled performance with a great solidarity and a great togetherness – that’s always a very good basis. Everybody contributed with hard work, great work-rate. Can we keep that focus on our qualities and improve our technical level? We can only get stronger.”
“What happened over the weekend helps the team to strengthen our confidence, of course. I think the attitude of the players since the start of the season, in their desire to do well and their solidarity has been extremely good. The basics have not changed – we certainly have more belief and more strength in our belief.”
Arsene also said that he wanted to see the same spirit from the team, “Of course. I believe that the spirit was always there. We had not always had the same defensive solidity, because we were many times in a position where we had to throw everything forward, because we conceded early goals.”
The manager also sought to clarify Walcott’s comments about this attack being better than the Invincibles, saying, “I think number-wise, we have more players today at a top level than we had at the time. At that time, we had exceptional players. Number-wise, we were shorter than we are today. The competition for places – what Walcott certainly wants to say – was not as difficult as it is today and I agree with him on that. Having said that, we had exceptional players.”