Wenger CONFIRMS transfer plans! Paulista a DONE DEAL?

It is not like Arsene Wenger to tell the football media anything at all about his Arsenal transfer plans. All the Frenchman usually says is something along the lines of, we are working hard, it is difficult and there is no point signing any players just for the sake of it.

And it is January as well, the transfer window that the boss likes about as much as an ince cube down the back of his jumper on a wintery British day. So when I heard the Frenchman being so forthcoming about the transfer talks that are going on between the Gunners and Villareal about the Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista, I instantly assumed that the deal is all but done.

You can see what Wenger said in his press conference ahead of the FA cup clash with Brighton on the Arsenal website, where he suggests that the only thing holding up the completion of the defender’s transfer from La Liga is the money. Wenger does make mention of the reported issue of Paulista, who has no EU passport and has not played for the Brazil national team, getting a work permit. But I assume that the manager has been given positive news on this.

The Prof said, “We are talking at the moment. Can we find an agreement or not? I don’t know. We are slowly progressing but there’s a chance.

“We are ready to pay the price we think is right for a good player, no matter what the price is. If we think it’s the right price we will pay.

“[The deal is] 50-50 at this moment. We respect the rules in England – when you buy a player who does not fulfil the criteria and needs a work permit, you go in front of a commission and they tell you yes or no. We will accept that.”

There is going to be a change on the work permit rules in the summer, which mean that a player costing at least £10 million will not need one. Whether that means Wenger is trying to get Paulista for less than this remains to be seen but Wenger admitted that he did have a release clause in his contract of 20 million euros so he is clearly trying to pay less or there would be no need for talks.

Wenger continued, “First of all I don’t really understand the logic of this rule. [I don’t understand] the logic that the availability of the work permit is linked exactly with the amount of money you spend. It should be linked with the quality of the players only.

“Secondly we want the player. If a player we want needs a work permit then we’ll [do] it now because we will not necessarily want to do it in the summer. We are short at the moment so no matter what the rules are, we have to do it now.”

Does this seem like a done deal to you Gooners?

Tags Villareal work permit


    1. Smh….bit premature mate, the manager just said it’s a 50-50. The Home Office don’t give priority over sportsman, he’ll be assessed same as any non-EU person seeking work so let’s just wait and see with fingers crossed.

      1. Considering the other players who got “exceptional” waivers.

        The Man U twins from Brasil
        Leicester’s new player

        Wenger has an argument

        Plus he HAS to pay more than 10 million to qualify as exceptional

        1. He doesn’t have to spend more than 10mil, that’s the new regulation which comes into effect in the summer. I’m not disputing the deal looks likely, but to say “Welcome to the Emirates” before a fee is agreed and a work permit commission has been met is absurd.

    2. He looks the part, can’t see him backing out of anything. Wonder if Souness would like his daughter to bring Gabriele Paulista home?

  1. I do hope Bielik isn’t Wenger’s answer form new Defensive Midfielder, we have to sign a top class one in the summer. As for Paullista, would he be brought in to replace Mertesaker and play alongside Koscielny, I bloody hope so.

    1. Would GP be a back-up or a replacement? Will have to wait and see. At 24 and new to the PL, together with his similarities to Kos I would guess he will be back-up and the BFG-out brigade are going to be unhappy for the foreseeable future. Paulista is a left-sided centre back ie: Kos’s natural position. He has also played at LB. His style and attributes are also remarkably similar to Kos’s. Bearing in mind Kos’s propensity to injury and BFG seeming immunity to such problems it is more likely that we will see a PM/GP partnership in the immediate future rather than a LK/GP one.

      Longer term I am sure LK/GP could pair up effectively but there will need to be adjustments and adaptations before that happens. Perhaps someone on here has an expert view on the nuances of CB pairings and how easy it is to switch positions etc and can shed light on the issues. Would be interested to hear.

      1. Paulista is ambidextrous so he can play on the right side too – think thats part of the reason why he’s highly rated at the moment.

        1. Yes – I hear he is another Villareal player who can use either foot – just like our own Santi. More surprising though to find this in a CB.

    1. Is “Greg” short for Guillem Balague? If not I doubt you’ve seen or know enough of Gabriel to make that judgement. I swear some fans hear a relative unknown linked with us and immediately become some kind of scout with affirming views on how good he is.

      1. I wonder if there is anyone on here who will claim they have watched complete West Ham games week in week out to enable a balanced view about Reid. I don’t have a properly formed view on Reid other than the general media and forum chatter but I am guessing much that chatter is second-hand regurgitated opinions. I have probably watched more full Villareal games than West Ham games in the last few years and don’t recollect Paulista standing out from the crowd so I won’t pretend that I rate him now.

        1. Think it’s a lot easier to make a quasi-judgement on a player we see us play twice a year minimum; no doubt avid football fans see him a further dozen times vs other good teams on SNF, Super Sunday, and MNF through the year. Think it’s easier just to say ‘nahh not good enough mate’ because he plays for West Ham, or because he isn’t a ball player like Koscielny. I’d have Reid over Per in a heartbeat.

          Not to say Gabriel isn’t better than Reid, I’ll trust the Arsenal scouts being paid ridiculous money to make the right choice. But statements, like the one above, are just written for the likes….unless Greg is Steve Rowley in disguise.

  2. Caused huge arguments with my GF today with me watching him online all day but it was well worth it, welcome to arsenal son!

  3. This work permit rule is absurd on so many levels. If a football team, with all their expertise, deems a player worthy of signing, then why does the Home Office need to get involved? Secondly, the proposed change to a 10m threshold surely disadvantages smaller clubs. Complete tosh.

    1. Wenger says, “…It should be linked with the quality of the players only.”

      Won’t that make it more controversial???

  4. It seems like a plot. By February, he will say “we tried to get the player that could improve us but we time was not on our side. We have enough quality”

  5. A question for the guys on here,if Southampton offered us schneiderlin for wilshere in a swap deal would you say yes ?

    1. I REALLY want Schneiderlin, but I would say NO….Jack will be great for us one day. Why not try to have BOTH, even if we have to wait till the summer

      1. Been having this debate at work and where does jack fit in when fit ? Unless him and Rambo share the midfield role ? IMO he is start an automatic first team choice when fit again

        1. What gives jack and rambo the right to share a midfield role? And what one are we talking about? Bcos in cazorla, ozil, rosicky, chamberlain alexis campbell coquelin arteta flamini gnabry ramsey wilshire welbeck zelalem giroud bielik and akpom we have 17 players competing for 6 positions.

          1. I agree. I think recent decisions by Wenger show a bit more steeliness and no reverting to the overt favouritism that is often said to be one of his poorer traits. Stuck to his guns re Ospina, Monreal, Coquelin shutting out Szczney, Gibbs and Flamini, removed Chambers from the limelight and given no easy straightforward route back in for Ozil and Walcott in particular. He is being pretty ruthless as well in off-loading Podolski, Sanogo, Afobe and maybe Campbell with the minimum of fuss.

        2. @mr lean
          Would love to see him back in form and firing on a cylinders. But just like Ozil, he’s gotta up his game considerably because the team just kicked it up a notch since he last played.

  6. Reading wengers comments I’m hoping we are going to bring in a striker as well ! Cavani ? or is that just wishful thinking/dreaming

      1. If I can make it happen in FIFA Wenger can make it happen for real lol ! After all he has a magic hat

  7. I will Wait until the Confirmation on Arsenal website before celebrating. However, I will be very happy for 2 reasons
    1. We need a quality defender desperately
    2. It means Wenger spends relatively big mon in January which he hasn’t done in ages. Usually, January is uneventful. So .it shows a turn in attitude.

    BTW – we are still one of the Top 10 richest clubs in
    the world. Need to thank Wenger, but even though we still shouldn’t throw money away Willy Nilly, there is no excuse not to buy Top or WC players to compete with the best.

  8. Very very unlike Wenger to comment on transfers so I’m assuming it’s all but done,at least he has heard of him lol !

    1. Yep, pretty sure it’s a done deal just like Bielik’s transfer. I like the way Arsene treat this winter transfer with openness, such a rare sight 😀

  9. I am a little bit down after I have taken a bath. I am a bit cold. But nevertheless, I want to see the boss sign-on versatile Gabriel Paulista as soon as he can. By the way, has the boss sold or loan his good CB in the making – Semi Ajayi to Sunderland?

  10. Little offtopic but still. This is how the team should look like next year in MY opinion.
    GK: Ospina (Szczesny)
    LB: Monreal (Gibbs)
    LCB: Koscielny (Chambers)
    RCB: Gabriel (Mertesacker)
    RB: Debuchy (Bellerin)
    CDM: Coquelin (Flamini)
    CDM: Ramsey (Wilshere)
    CAM: Cazorla (Ozil)
    LW: Alexis (Rosicky)
    RW: Walcott (Oxlade)
    ST: Giroud (Welbeck)
    Not included: Martinez,Arteta,Gnabry,Campbell,Akpom,Jenkinson,Podolski,Sanogo.
    Ofcourse if we sign a CDM like Schneiderlin he should fight with Coquelin for the position in the team and Flamini to be sold. I would send Gnabry,Akpom or Sanogo and Jenks or Bellerin on loan and sell Podolski and Arteta ( Podolski for obvious reasons and Arteta because hes getting old). I still dont know what to do with Campbell. This is ideal situation without injuries but thats just not possible at Arsenal 🙂

    1. With that squad we still have 4 free spaces,one of those spaces should be the gk Martinez 3rd choice

      Two signings dm + fwd
      Plus keep one of;sanogoo,w.silva,campbell*,jenkinson

    2. @Hello Troller: good selection but why Flamini? Also Giroud and Wellbeck win never win us the CL! Cavani perhaps?

    3. I guess if we sign one CB we will be fine even though I would like to see one more DM signing. But to be a serious contender in the EPL and CL we need to go for quality DM and ST (summer signings) …
      GK: Ospina (Szczesny)
      LB: Monreal (Gibbs)
      LCB: Koscielny (Chambers)
      RCB: Gabriel (Mertesacker)
      RB: Debuchy (Bellerin)
      CDM: One Top DM- Schneiderlin/Wanyama/Krychowiak (Coquelin, Arteta, and Bielik)
      CDM: Ramsey (Wilshere)
      CAM: Cazorla (Ozil)
      LW: Alexis (Rosicky)
      RW: Walcott (Oxlade)
      ST: One Top ST- Cavani/Higuain (Welbeck and Giroud)

      Release/Sell Campbell, Podolski, and Flamini …
      Loan Gnabry,Campbell,Akpom,Jenkinson, and Sanogo

      Chelsea, RM, Barca, and Bayern are too difficult teams to break with our current team

  11. How many times folks have you seen Wenger come out and admit he is after a named player? NEVER!!
    So what he did today was a ploy to make us think he’s genuinely after a player so that when it doesn’t happen, which I believe it won’t, he can defend himself and tell the whole world that he did try. At least we are all his alibis; aren’t we?
    50:50 my butt! Are you telling me there are no CBs around that don’t need work permits that he could have bought?
    Don’t be fooled guys. Our transfer window is now firmly shut by Wenger. It could however be opened when a teenage Ninja Turtle becomes available for £500,000 only! Cheapskate!!!!!

    1. Well, I won’t judge until the window shuts …. If we didn’t sign anyone then it’s really Wenger fault (we should have already sign one in the summer) and I am going support your point

  12. Am with you my brother.
    If he actually goes after Teenage Ninja Turtles like Zouma, Mangala and so on, it would be fine. Not his typical “slim fits” like our most recent signing.

  13. If Paulista does come, don’t expect big improvement immediately. It will take time for him to acclimate to the PL.

    He is fast, aggressive man marker, good clearer of the ball, good in the air, good interceptor of the ball and good with dead ball situations

    However, he has problems with strong strikers/forwards. So he will have even more difficulty in the PL because forwards are stronger and better. Another Low point is that he is 24 and never been capped by Brazil.

    So, he is not as good as Koscielny, but has potential due to his relatively young age. Even in the. beginning Mertsacker will play better as he has PL experience, but hopefully Paulista will improve fast next season

    1. I agree. If he signs in the next week it’s because Wenger sees long term potential in him. I wouldn’t expect him to play much if Koscielny and Mertesacker are healthy. And of course the signing would have the added bonus of appeasing fans calling for him to spend.

      1. Mert can’t make it against fast strikers and sometimes he goes off completely … Joachim Löw doesn’t have a favorite … so please Wenger, bench Mert
        It is not slating him or anything … this is a forum to express opinions … and as anybody else I want the best for my team …

    2. “He is fast, aggressive man marker, good clearer of the ball, good in the air, good interceptor of the ball and good with dead ball situations” that much more than enough to replace Mert even without PL experience … Kos will cover him for a while (like he did all the time for Mert) and then he will be ready, don’t worry …..

    3. I agree re settling in time. At 24 he is the perfect age; some proven top-level experience but still loads of time on the clock, especially as a CB, to improve. Could give us 8 years top level service if it works out for him. Apparently he is very two-footed as well which is quite unusual for a CB, a bit like our other ex-Villareal man Santi. I think we are all guilty of over-egging the physicality of the PL and the ability of foreign players to adapt. There may be a few fragile types that do but there are not many South Americans in my experience that struggle on the physical front – most of them had a hard upbringing a million miles removed from some of our soft homegrown boys.

  14. Bearing in mind that Kos is 29 and Mert is 30. I can see a future Centre-back pairing of Chambers and Paulista. I do see Chambers as a better centre back than right back. I think next season Jenkinson should be first choice right back although some would disagree there.

    1. I would like to see Chambers take his shot in the DM position … He is not fast player, so to play as CB he needs to be paired with someone like Kos (I am not sure about Paulista)

  15. If he ain’t betrer than BFG then he’s a useless signing, we need to move forward as a club which means the players we buy mustn’t just add extra numbers but must bring in quality to the club.

  16. players like hummels and varane etc…do not need to aclimate…they are world class and will settle immediately

  17. Will this mean in 2 years chambers will partner him at the back with LK and BFG as good bench players?

  18. I’d still go after Hummels in the summer. Gunners are better off with him than seeing him go to United. It would give us 5 CBs. I would then loan Chambers to another PL squad to get more experience. Kid is only 19, should be playing as much as possible.

    Hummels-Kos as our starting CBs.

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