Arsenal look set to complete their second transfer of the January window as £13.4m Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista is set to undergo a medical, reports the London Evening Standard.
Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that a deal to sign the Brazilian is close, with Joel Campbell heading the other way on-loan.
The club are confident of completing the signing of Paulista despite the fact he doesn’t meet the criteria to be granted a work permit.
The rules specify that non-EU players must have played 75% of their country’s international matches over the past two years, but the 24-year-old has never even earned a cap for Brazil.
However, we are likely to win the appeal based on the subjective reasoning that Paulista is a player of the highest calibre and will improve the league – an argument that has seen us sign Eduardo da Silva and Ryo Miyaichi in the past.
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A centre-back is a priority signing for Wenger with injuries seeing Nacho Monreal having to be moved to central defence this season at times.
Paulista has been part of one of the best defences in La Liga this term and will provide competition to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the back.
This will be Wenger’s second signing of the window having already secured 17-year-old wonderkid Krystian Bielik from Legia Warsaw.