Arsene Wenger has announced in his morning press conference that Arsenal have made a £15 million bid for Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista.
Our esteemed manager was rather open about talking about the Brazilian, suggesting he’s confident about signing the player.
Wenger on Gabriel Paulista: "Talks are progressing quite well. It is £15m. We are ready to pay the right price for a good player." #AFC
— Kevin Palmer (@kpsundayworld) January 22, 2015
Wenger doesn’t tend to talk about transfers until they are close to completion, and we’re quietly getting our hopes up that we could finally sign the centre back the team is desperate for.
The 24 year-old Gabriel is a left sided centre back blessed with considerable pace – making him a potentially excellent option when Laurent Koscielny is unavailable.
- Predicted Arsenal line up vs Slavia Prague – It’s “all or nothing”
- Arsenal icon Martin Keown says squad will be ‘baffled’ by star’s omission
- Arsenal may be forced to sell top ‘asset’ as pressure piles on Arteta
The Frenchman has struggled for much of this season with an Achilles issue, and that has either meant Per Mertesacker has had to shift to the left – where he is far less comfortable – in order for Calum Chambers to come in, or left back Nacho Monreal has had to play in central defence.
Monreal has done a reasonable job, but his performances at left back have been superb recently, and it would be a shame to move him.
The only issue with Gabriel looks likely to be his work permit situation, having not played for the Brazil national team yet.