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Arsenal ‘Will Complete £15m Deal TODAY’ – Reports
It looks like we’re closing in on making our first significant signing of the January window as reports in Spain claim that Arsenal will complete the £15m signing of Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista today.
We’ve been strongly linked with the 24-year-old in recent days and were reportedly told by Villarreal earlier this week that they won’t let him go for anything less than his £15m (€20m) buy-out fee.
Spanish radio show El Larguero, of Cadena SER, are claiming this morning that we’ve now agreed to trigger the clause and the deal should go through on Wednesday.
The news comes shortly after Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral confirmed that Paulista could be heading to Arsenal;
“If both Gabriel Paulista and the club believe that his sale to Arsenal is the best for all parties, we will accept.”
Paulista said over the weekend that a move to North London would be ‘excellent’ and we were holding talks with his agent:
“The subject is being discussed by my agent and the club.”
“If I go to Arsenal it will be excellent. But if it’s not finalised then I am relaxed. I am focused on my work here.” Paulista is quoted as saying by the Mirror
As I write this post I’ve just noticed that Mirror journalist John Cross has just tweeted saying:
Gabriel Paulista was quoted in Mirror on Mon saying he’s leaving it all to his agent. Agent has spent last 2 days at passport office..!
So it looks like things are starting to gather pace with this transfer BUT the big stumbling block remains the work permit.
Paulista has been a rock at the back for Villarreal but he’s yet to earn a cap for Brazil and he doesn’t hold an EU passport, so getting a work permit won’t be easy.
However, I’m confident we’ll be able to argue our case successfully as Paulista is clearly a top talent and it’s not his fault that he’s up against the likes of Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Dante for a place in the Brazil squad. Had he been eligible for most other nations he’d have a hat-full of caps by now.
Let’s see, but it appears Paulista could be our big signing this month….