There wasn’t much action off the pitch for Arsenal yesterday but there was plenty on it as the Gunners overcame a spirited Brighton to move into the 5th round of the FA Cup.
Here is the news roundup.
“Gabriel Paulista deal will be done tomorrow,” claims Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the deal to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista is very close and should be completed by Monday. The Spanish side had already confirmed a deal has been done in principle and bid farewell to their centre-back in an on-pitch presentation. It seems the transfer is almost there and it looks likely that the club will officially announce the deal on Monday.
(Tweet) Respected journalist gives positive update on Gabriel Paulista work permit situation
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Reputed Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has claimed that the Gunners have secured the all important work permit for the new signing Gabriel Paulista. There were concerns that the Brazilian is unlikely to secure a work permit given that he is yet to have made a full international appearance for Brazil. However with these reports it seems that the Gunners have managed to secure a exceptional talent work permit for the defender.
More detail re. Gabriel. A more accurate rate exchange, he cost £14.1. Work permit practically sorted. Campbell €1m loan (Moyes wanted him)
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 24, 2015
Wilshere ‘could be back in three weeks’, could influence Coquelin’s new deal
Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin wants to find out if he figures in the long-term plans of Wenger before committing his future to the club. Wilshere is set to return from injury next month which is thought to worry Coquelin with his place in the starting XI potentially in jeopardy. He has been brilliant for the Gunners since his return and has convinced most fans that he can make the defensive midfield position his own with some assured performances. It’s up to Wenger now to convince the youngster that his future lies at the Emirates, but it will be a big blow for the club if the Frenchman leaves in the summer when his contract ends.
Many had hoped for an easy game after we cruised into an opening minute lead but it turned out to be much more difficult as Brighton showed great belief to make it a close game. The Gunners managed to hang on the lead however and advance to the next stage. The most important thing is that we won but we were painfully reminded of how poor our defence can be without any proper cover. We do have a great chance of retaining the Cup as United and Liverpool are the only competitors in the top six left, but it will be no easy ride however. The draw is expected to be announced around lunchtime today.