According to reports from a Spanish radio show, Arsenal FC will sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista soon for a fee of €20 million.
It is a known fact that Arsenal are in dire need of a defender, and following the injury to Mathieu Debuchy, the need has increased even more.
Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista is the one that seems to be on the radar for Arsenal, and is purported to have a release clause of €20 million that the gunners are willing to match. Paulista himself seemed to be calm about the potential move, saying “Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head.
“I’m very calm. My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused. My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm.”
In a previous interview, he had also expressed his desire to play in England. “Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams,” he said. “I have spoken to my agent about this.”
What will be of concern for Arsenal fans would be the fact that at 24 years, Paulista does not have a single cap for Brazil, and considering the kind of defenders that do get picked regularly for the club, this could certainly be a cause for concern!
Although, some Arsenal fans have likened the Villarreal defender to their own Laurent Koscielny, and if that is indeed the case, then the 20 million would be well worth it.
However, one issue that the club might face would be in terms of getting a work permit for the defender. Not having won a cap for his nation and having played in Europe only since 2013 would normally mean that a work permit would be denied to him to play in England. But if Arsenal are willing to plump 20 million on the man, they must have more than a good hope that the work permit problems will be resolved without too much of a hassle.
In a slightly related news, Arsenal youngster Semi Ajayi is all set for a move to Sunderland, and manager Arsene Wenger would have allowed this to happen only if he was reasonably sure that another defender was coming in. With only Calum Chambers as back up and Issac Hayden out injured, letting the youngster go would not have been a good move.
Whether the transfer of Paulista is only a rumour or if it will really happen is something that we’ll have to wait and see. However, the radio show that reported the same have a good track record and they might be right on this one too.