Gabriel Paulista Seemingly On His Way To The EPL


As per usual during January the rumours are coming through thick and fast, and ones linking us with defenders are especially worth paying attention to given our current lack of cover at the back. The latest man to be touted as the answer to our defensive conundrum is Villareal defender Gabriel Paulista, with the 24 year old Brazilian reportedly available for less than he £15m buy out clause.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Paulista is a versatile player that can play across the back four and as such would fit the bill as a classic Arsenal signing, because everyone knows that Wenger likes his players to be able to fill in for a number of roles. This is especially true of his defence because he prefers to register a higher number of midfielders and attackers in his squad and as such versatile defenders will always be of interest to the Frenchman.

Having been a regular in both Villareal’s La Liga and Europa League campaign this year, Paulista has acquitted himself against high class opponents and in a variety of positions. Given his relatively young age of 24 he would also be able to play for many seasons at Arsenal if we bought him now and with some of the crazy fees being touted for various players a fee around £12m wouldn’t be that high.

He is also very interested in moving, with the Telegraph quoting him saying:

"“The subject is being discussed by my agent and the club,” Paulista said. “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.“My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm. Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams. I have spoken to my agent about this.”"

Paulista is, however, in demand. There are an increasing number of publications reporting that we are facing stiff competition from Manchester United to obtain his signature, and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested as well. If this is true it is more than likely that we will have to shell out the full buy-out clause of £15m, and I’m not sure Wenger will want to shell out that much on a defender who is yet to play in the Premier League who has not played any international matches either.

More from Arsenal Transfer Rumours

In other plausible transfer news, as we reported yesterday, Wenger is reportedly interested in Italian Mattia Destro, as he boosts the attacking options of the squad after letting Podolski and Sanogo leave the club for the rest of the year. The striker is currently priced around £15m by transfermarkt and the Roma player has managed 5 goals in his 15 Serie A appearances this season. It is another buy that screams Wenger because, like Paulista, Destro is a versatile player who is a willing runner up top and on the wings. Whilst I’d like to see us invest in both these options, Wenger is unlikely to shell our £30m in the January transfer window with the EPL title seemingly out of reach already.

Follow Pain in the Arsenal on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Next: More Transfer Stories!