Arsene Wenger has happily admitted that he is desperate to bring in another centre-back after Mathieu Debuchy was ruled out for at least the next three months, but says that he is having trouble locating a suitable target in January.
But yesterday the Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista has revealed that his agent is in talks with Arsenal and trying to broker a deal to take the 24 year-old to the Emirates. He was quoted as saying: “I’m very calm at Villarreal. My head is here and I’m very focused. My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm, but whether I go to Arsenal or I stay here, I’ll continue to be the same.”
The Brazilian, who arrived in Spain from Vitoria two years ago, has been linked with Arsenal for the last couple of weeks, but the snag has been that, because Paulista has not yet played for the Brazilian national side, it would be difficult to obtain a work permit for the UK. This may still be the case, so perhaps the delay in signing may be that Arsenal are trying to get the Home Office to approve a permit before continuing.
Paulista was named the Best Central Defender in Brazil in 2012, but took some time to adapt to Spanish football before gaining his excellent form again this season. If he comes to Arsenal he cannot afford a settling in period, so because of these doubts I don’t think that we should pursue this one, at least not until the summer.
We really need an experienced Premier League player to do the job right now! Winston Reid anyone?